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On the occasion of the celebration of the Sesquicentennial Jubilee of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend a cross has been constructed, called the Jubilee Pilgrim Cross. This Jubilee Cross is a processional cross that has been fabricated by Roethele Lumber, Fort Wayne and stained and lettered by Te Deum Creations and Restorations in LaOtto, Indiana. “Recognizing that it is by the Cross of Christ that many graces have been poured forth on this diocese,” said Bishop D’Arcy, “this cross will travel in pilgrimage to the 84 parishes, as well as, schools and nursing homes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.”

“The idea of the traveling cross was adapted from the 2002 World Youth Day event in Toronto, Canada where they had a similar cross that traversed across the country,” said Cyndy Yonkman, assisting the Sesquicentennial Coordinator Linda Furge. The Jubilee Traveling Cross was commissioned at the Diocesan World Youth Day on Sunday, August 21, 2005 at the University of Notre Dame. From there this mission cross was blessed by Bishop John M. D’Arcy and entrusted to the youth of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne where it began its two-year journey.

The sun wasn’t shining the morning of Thursday, February 2, but the Son of God was. As students gathered at St. John the Baptist parish for their All School Mass on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day) they were reminded by Pastor Rev. Daryl Rybicki that they were “walking with The Light, the light of God. Sometimes in life one may experience darkness. God wants to scatter that darkness in our lives with His Son who has brought us the true light.” Rybicki went on to say, “The cross is important to all of us. It is a symbol of our faith. A reminder that God’s love never fails us.”

Bishop Luers High School Campus Ministry students received the Diocesan Jubilee Cross from the young people of St. John’s parish. Accompanied by Pastor Daryl Rybicki, they transported the cross from St. John’s down Fairfield Avenue traveling east to Bishop Luers High School on E. Paulding Road. The procession, lead by students carrying the cross, progressed throughout the high school stopping at each classroom to gather more and more students in the 150-year celebration ending in the gym with a Jubilee Cross Prayer service.

The Jubilee Cross graced the lobby of Bishop Luers High School on Thursday where students and staff, families and friends had the opportunity to venerate the cross. (Below) Students from St. John the Baptist Catholic and Bishop Luers High School gather as they welcome the symbol of the great gift of redemption.

On Friday, February 3, 2006 the celebration will continue, traveling with the cross in the hands of St. Therese parish on Lower Huntington Road. Luers students who are members of St. Therese and St. Therese grade school students, together with Father Joe Rulli, will carry the cross to St. Therese after an Entrusting the Cross Prayer Service on Friday afternoon at 2:30pm in the Bishop Luers gym.

After visiting every parish, renewing and sharing the Light of God, the Jubilee Pilgrim Cross will reach its destination, the Eucharistic Congress at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, on August 18, 2007.

The Waynedale News Staff

Cindy Cornwell

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