Traveling WYD Cross damaged in Senegal

Rome, Italy, May 5, 2006 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- The official World Youth Day Cross, which is currently visiting countries in Africa on its way to Sydney for next World Youth Day celebration to be held in 2008, was damaged in Senegal when the vehicle that was carrying it was involved in an accident.

According to the Kath.net agency, the cross arrived in Dakar on Holy Tuesday.  The National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Works, Father Giuseppe Giordano, said that the presence of the WYD pilgrim cross had “strengthened the faith” of Catholics in the area, who are a minority amidst a large Muslim population.

As the cross was being transported to other cities, the small bus that was on was involved in an accident.  Some passengers in the bus also suffered slight injuries but were immediately treated and released.  Local artisans quickly repaired the cross.

The cross was then taken to the Catholic mission at Koumpountum, where according to Father Giordano, “Catholics are a small minority.  The arrival of the cross was a wonderful opportunity to reinforce in us Catholics the sense of belonging to the universal Church.  Even some Muslims wanted to come and see the WYD cross,” he said.

Afterwards the cross leaves Senegal, it will visit numerous other countries in Africa including Ghana, Nigeria, Burundi, Rwanda among others before arriving in Australia.