OCEANIA/ SOLOMON ISLANDS - Local Catholics say farewell to World Youth Day Cross and Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary after intense and moving experience

Friday, 20 April 2007

Honiara (Agenzia Fides) - “Solomon Islands has witnessed great excitement these past ten days with the presence of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of our Blessed Mother”, said Bishop Chris Cardone op, Bishop of Auki to a packed congregation in the early hours of the morning. “It has brought us great energy and hope and has been a sign of Love, Peace and hope to all. The tree of death is indeed the tree of LIFE”, he said as he spoke of the suffering that the people in the Western province have undergone. He encouraged the congregation and especially the youth to reach out and bring the message of love in action and be generous and assist in rebuilding the lives of the people of Choiseul and the Western province. Words of thanks were expressed by Fr. Joseva Tuimavule cm, Coordinator for the World Youth Day national Committee. In thanking the different groups he made special mention of the Solomon Islands Government, Aviation and Police personnel and the many MPs and other donors who have been very supportive. “There have been joyous moments and times of sorrow”, he said as he thanked all for accommodating the many changes as the Cross journeyed to the different parts of the country. At the night vigil several powerful testimonies were shared. People have benefited greatly from the experiecne. Preparations for WYD 2008 to be held in Sydney, Australia will continue in the months to come. “Every family should send a son or daughter to this inspiring Youth gathering”, said a parent at the vigil service held at Holy Cross. The WYD Cross and Icon leave the Solomon Islands and are on its way to East Timor. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 20/4/2007 righe 25 parole 258)