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World Youth Day Cross in Washington


In preparation for next January’s World Youth Day in Panama the World Youth Day Cross has been touring the U.S. Stops were planned for Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. A day of celebration with the Cross was was held Saturday, August 25 at the John Paul II Shrine, next to our home in D.C.

Several Little Sisters participated in the day, which began with a procession of the Cross in the National Mall in the morning, and then an afternoon of prayer and celebration at the John Paul II Shrine. We helped distribute lunches and then stayed for the talks and devotions, before participating in the procession of the icon and Cross to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the closing Mass. This Mass was celebrated by Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori.

Although this event had been planned long before the current crisis in the Church, it proved to be a beautiful day and a deeply meaningful way to find comfort and hope in celebrating and affirming our Church with a variety of consecrated and lay people of different ages. Yes, the crisis was central to much of the day’s conversation, but the reflections were constructive and encouraging to us “ordinary” Catholics who are trying really hard to stay focused on the essential of our faith. There were also several bishops present for the day and their courage in stepping out for a procession in the heart of D.C., as well as mixing in with us in the afternoon, was much appreciated.

The following prayer was offered by all in attendance after the regular prayers of intercession. It is a beautiful prayer, well worth sharing with others. Please consider doing so!

God of endless love,
ever caring, ever strong,
always present, always just:
You gave your only Son
to save us by the blood of his cross.
Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust
placed in them.
Hear our cries as we agonize
over the harm done to our brothers and sisters.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:
Show us the way to justice and wholeness,
enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.