Indonesia: AYG Cross is visiting Redemptorist parishes

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One of the important signs and essential aspects of the celebration of the Alphonsian Youth Gathering (AYG) is the Pilgrimage of the Holy Cross.

On 22 May 2024, during the closing Eucharist of the Convent recollection in Weetebula, the Indonesian Provincial, Fr Jack Umbu Warata, blessed and handed over the Cross of ASIOC Alphonsian Youth Gathering to the East Sumba Community. 

The procession of the Cross starts from Saint Andreas Ngallu Parish, which is to the east of Sumba Island. From there, the Cross will be taken to the Holy Redeemer Parish, Waingapu. After that the AYG cross will successively stop, each for three days, at the parish of St.  Klemens Hofbauer Katiku Loku, St. Mikael Elopada Parish, Christ the King Waimangura Parish, St. Paul Karuni Parish, St. Maria Assumpta Homba Karipit Parish and finally at Katedral, Holy Spirit Parish of Weetebula before being displayed in the Novena Monastery Chapel.

This pilgrimage reminds young people of the meaning of the Cross. Christ, crucified, is the light of faith. Christ helps us to understand that every human being is the fruit of God’s love. It culminated in sacrificing on the Cross and rising from the dead to save everyone. Christ waited patiently to embrace even those who had left the Church in secret, who mocked and blasphemed Him.

Young people are mandated and invited to make Christ known to those around them. Christ’s recognition is the most precious gift that can be shared in encounters with others in this life. They are invited to convey the joyful proclamation of God’s love through deeds and words. That is the meaning of the pilgrimage of the Cross that has just begun.

The Pilgrimage of the Holy Cross with the Young People was introduced by Saint John Paul II. He saw that young people face tremendous challenges in today’s life. Many young people abandon the Cross of Christ because they are lulled by the transient life of the world. As a Pope, he invited young people to take an active part in the mission of the Church. According to Christ’s example, which he left us in the Gospel, young people are sent to make a difference in civilisation. 

Faith is strengthened when shared with others. May this pilgrimage move young people and stimulate the faith of all people where the Cross stops.

Fr. Willy Pala, CSsR