World Youth Day Cross - a special gift for our Otters, Timber Wolves, Explorers, and Leaders!
For most of us, and especially for our children, it can be difficult at times to truly comprehend and appreciate the unique and perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity that was presented to our youth as related to the WYD Cross! The experience for the majority of the participants was a very special one; this web page will attempt to capture the unique blessings and spiritual experiences received for those who participated.
Pope John Paul II choose this specific Cross given to the worlds youth in 1985 (measuring some 12 feet in height!) as a sign of the Lord's love for humanity for our youth to rally around. It has become a tradition for the Cross-to travel within all dioceses within the host country for World Youth Day in the months prior to the event.
The cross serves as a rally point for our youth to come together to embrace and better understand the ultimate sacrifice that our Lord Jesus Christ made as he gave his life so that we could be freed from sin. This cross is no ordinary cross, not only has it personally been blessed by the Pope but it has been embraced as a powerful rallying point of prayer as we reach out to the Lord while the cross continues to be embraced by hundreds of thousands of youth around the world. The spiritual power and positive experience as to ones encounter with such a precious symbol of our faith can not be underestimated or misunderstood.
A direct quote from Pope John Paul II as related to the experience of WYD and the world youth day cross:
"Our personal encounter with Christ bathes life in a new light, sets us on the right path, and sends us out to be his witnesses. This new way of looking at the world and at people, which comes to us from him, leads us more deeply into the mystery of our faith, which is not just a collection of theoretical assertions to be accepted and approved by the mind, but an experience to be had, a truth to be lived, the salt and light of all reality.
Christ is calling you. The Church welcomes you and wishes to be your home and your school of communion and prayer. Study the word of God and let it enlighten your minds and hearts. Draw strength from the sacramental grace of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Visit the Lord in that "heart to heart" contact that is Eucharistic Adoration. Day after day you will receive new energy to help you to bring comfort to the suffering and peace of the world."
Encountering the World Youth Day Cross
For most of us, and perhaps especially for our children it can be difficult at times to truly comprehend the unique and perhaps once in a life time opportunity that has been presented to our Otters, Timber Wolves, Explorers, Wayfarers along with their leaders. As a movement we received a special gift and honour to help look after and celebrate our faith together as we helped care for and experience the power of the World Youth Day Cross last June 30 2002!
To help lay the foundation of this opportunity that was presented to our youth we would like to share a quote from a young person aged 17 who participated in the visit of the cross to the site of the World Trade Center in New York...
"As the Cross approached the platform, there was a moment of silence, as no one could verbalize what we were experiencing. Even today words cannot even begin to describe what I saw or how I felt. The silence was only broken by a simple service lead by the Canadians who had made the journey. The Cross pointed to new life and to a community's hope for the future. After witnessing such power on our journey, I can only imagine what the Cross will continue to be for the people of Canada as world youth day approaches! "
The World Youth Day Cross will bring to our children a special blessing and a true sense of consolation, healing, strength and peace to our youth, their leaders and many hundreds of thousands of others who have embraced it, touched it, kissed it, and allowed themselves to be touched by the awesome message and memory of the one who died upon it - Our Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ!
Gather at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic church located at 432 Sheppard Ave East (north side of Sheppard between Yonge Street and Bayview Ave).
Brief Prayer as the Cross exits the church for its trek to Blessed Trinity Parish
Procession begins with songs, cheers, prayers, laughter and great joy! Our youth will be given an opportunity to help carry the cross for a given section or sections of the walk. Adequate road closures to support the walk to be undertaken by Toronto Police.
WYD Cross will arrive at Blessed Trinity Parish with a formal welcome and blessing by our Group Pastor - Father Sheehy.
Brief break before taking seats within the church for a special Mass to welcome the Cross.
Special Mass begins as we celebrate the arrival of the Cross and as we prepare ourselves and ask for God's blessing for our upcoming personal encounter with the WYD Cross.
Lunch for youth and a final review of our songs before it's our turn.
Our personal and private encounter with the WYD Cross for members of our Baden-Powell Explorer movement and their immediate families. See specific program noted below.
Break and refreshments (juice) as we reflect on the incredible and spiritual experience that we just all shared together.
Families and Timber Wolves / Otters depart for home!
Our Time with the Cross covered the following elements that have been repeated in greater detail for interested parties:
Song - A gift to you - girls lead, boys answer
All kneeling beside the cross - youth and leaders on the inside ring around the cross, parents and others on a second ring around the cross - recite the WYD Cross prayer (see attached)
Still kneeling - and now holding hands - say the Lords Prayer together
Hail Mary said by the boys and then Holy Mary said by the girls (parents and other children are encouraged to participate as per specific gender instructions). See attached prayer. Prayer is said five times please.
Song - My best friend - girls lead, boys answer.
All kneeling - as each Timber Wolf and Otter and Leader read out their prayer to share with others. (We will be encouraging our youth to make their words understood and well pronounced) followed by a reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians verses 2.1 to 2.16.
Song - Standing - Timber Wolf Promise Song and then the Timber Wolf and Otter Prayers
Kneeling - silent prayers by all those present, participants are welcome to come up to touch the cross, to kiss the cross etc as they may wish to do so.
Song - Little by Little
Song - Jesus is the Rock
Sahi Boy Timber Wolves - Prayers written to be said by the respective owners while looking after the WYD Cross on June 30th.
Dear Lord my eternal father and best friend. I pray to you each day. Please hear my prays and please do your best to help me. Thank you. I love you!
Thank you God for my family. Thank you God for my friends and me. Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you for every thing!
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Sprit - Amen. Dear Lord - Thank you for all you have given me. The sports that I watch, or the animals that share the world with us. Thank you for friends and family but most of all thank you for dying for us. Amen.
Dear Lord - O Lord you guide us through the dark. You feed us when we are hungry, but most of all you deliver us from temptation and evil. Amen.
Dear Lord, thank you for the food that is provided for us... and thank you for my wonderful family and may there be world peace. I love you!
Dear Jesus, thank you for my family. I love you!
Dear Lord, every morning I wake up and I am so happy. I am happy because my whole family is healthy, school is going well so could we work together to keep it that way please. As you know I am getting a motor from my dad if he is happy with my report card. So far he is but I am asking you if you will not change his mind. I know you are very busy but I hope you hear my prayer. Thanks and love! Amen.
Dear Lord, thank you for my den, thank you for the morning, thank you for every day that is new, thank you that I can count on you. Thank you for brothers, thank you for friends, thank you for God until the end. Thank you for you because you make me feel thankful as I am.
Dear Lord, how are you? I am good. I'm here to thank you for the stuff you gave me and the planet earth. Why do we die? Amen.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Dear Lord, thank you for everything that you have made. Thank you for all of my friends and thank you for food to eat. Thank you Lord for every thing.
Dear God, my Grandmother is sick, please help her and heal me! I love you!
Dear Lord, please restrict me from any serious injuries in the future and I would like to thank you for all the wonderful things that I have including the Four Arrows Timber Wolf Den that I am a member of. Also bless others that are in this Den. Please remember that I love you! Your son - Cale.
Dear Lord - please protect me and the whole earth.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us Jesus Christ your Son who gave his life up for us. Help me to be a better person in all that I do. Amen.
Dear God, I would like to ask you to help the people in Afghanistan that lost their homes in the war.
I am happy, I am happy, I am happy, I am happy! Dear Lord, please forgive my sins. Today I did a good deed. I forgave my friends David and Mike. I don't like what the people in Bethlehem are doing. I think it is bad. I love you!
Dear Lord, thanks for giving this world the beauty of life for all people of the world to share. Love --Michael.
Dear Lord, I thank you for making this earth, for letting me wake up with my family, for letting me smell the fresh air, and I have only one question - How is heaven? Amen.
Dear God, when I die please resurrect me. I try to be good all my life and wish to see my pets and family when you resurrect me. I know I love them and they love me and to be honest I love you too God!
Dear Lord, thank you for helping me to do my best, and for helping you helped, dear Lord, help me to do well on my school works including tests and EQAD. I love you God!
Dear Lord, thank you for a life so great, with the many wonders we have come through. With ups and downs, with the goods and the bads, we can always find our way even if its easy or even if its hard, we know we cannot give up but try even harder. One important thing that we should do is love one another as much as Jesus or God loves us. Amen.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Dear God, thank you for making me human and making me normal. Please make me win a lottery and win $1 million dollars and make my parents and give me A's. Amen!
Dear Jesus, thank you for my family. I love you, Amen.
Dear Lord, you have been a wonderful kind God for us. You have supplied us with caring and love for over millions of years. Thank you and I love you.
Dear Lord, help us to make more friends every day. Please hear my prayers and please make the prayer come true. Amen.
O Jesus, the bread of life, I the son of Adam, thank you for sacrificing yourself to forgive all of our sins. You were crucified and hurt, but you loved us more than anything else. You showed us how you loved us by teaching us about God although some people do not realize you are the messiah. I hope I grow up to be just like you. Please help me become more fruitful. Let my grapes become fat and juicy and tasty. I look forward to meeting you in the heavenly place of your world. I know you'll always be with me in my mind, my heart, but most importantly, I will give my love to people like you gave love to everyone else. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
And from a leader:
Dear Jesus, as we share our faith together here today I can hardly find the right words to tell you how much I love you, with all my mind, with all my heart, and with all my soul. Jesus I will be forever grateful that you gave your life on a cross like this one so that my sins and those of others who believe in you, and love you could be forgiven! Only through you, and through your endless mercy can we share in eternal life with God our Father. Thank you Jesus for my family, my wife, children, career and health. Thank you for reaching out to me with your love and mercy such that I have heard your call, and therefore have my Catholic faith! Please dear Jesus, continue to bless our Baden-Powell movement and especially those here together with us today. Lastly dear Jesus I beg you to help me understand what it is that you want me to do or to be, please help me carry my cross in a way that is pleasing to you! Jesus, son of the Father, please ask the Holy Spirit to help me be a better person! Amen.
Comments - these prayers from the heart of some of our youth are a great testimony as to their love of God the father, son and the Holy Spirit, to be truly "faithful to God" in our every day lives and within our Baden-Powell Explorer movement! Thank you Lord Jesus for the wonderful gifts of our youth that you have given us, for our Baden-Powell Explorer movement, for life with the promise of salvation thanks to your son Jesus who gave his life for each and every one of us! We love you with all of our hearts, mind, body and soul!
A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians verses 2.1 to 2.16.
Telling about Christ and the Cross
Friends, when I came and told you the mystery that God had shared with us, I didn't use big words or try to sound wise. In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who had been nailed to a cross.
At first, I was weak and trembling with fear. When I talked with you or preached, I didn't try to prove anything by sounding wise. I simply let God's Spirit show us his power. That way you would have faith because of God's power and not because of human wisdom.
We do use wisdom when speaking to people who are mature in their faith. But it isn't the wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who will soon disappear. We speak of God's hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for our glory long before the world began. The rulers of this world didn't know anything about this wisdom. If they had known about it, they would not have nailed the glorious Lord to a cross. But it is just as the Scriptures say,
"What God has planned
for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen
or ears have heard.
It has never even
entered our minds!"
God's Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God. You are the only one who knows what is in your mind, and God's Spirit is the only one who knows what is in God's mind. But God has given us his Spirit. That's why we don't think the same way that the people of this world think. That's also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.
Every word we speak was taught to us by God's Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people. That's why only someone who has God's Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn't have God's spirit thinks these blessings are foolish. People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but cannot be judged by others. The scriptures ask,
"Has anyone ever known
the thoughts of the Lord
or given him advice?"
But we understand what Christ is thinking.
Communal Prayer for those who helped care for the World Youth Day Cross
Lord, our God and loving Father,
grant us a deeper insight
into the meaning of the cross of your Son, Jesus.
We contemplate the cross,
as did Mary, the Mother of the Lord,
John the faithful witness, Stephen the first Martyr,
and so many others after them.
May we see the glory of your Son shining from the Cross;
the glory of a love that is faithful to the end.
Grant us a share in the experience of the first disciples,
the saints, mystics and martyrs who forgave their enemies
and offered their lives for their faith.
We ask for this through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Brother,
who forgave his tormentors
and revealed himself to be the Messiah,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.