ABUJA, NIGERIA -
The National Youth Day Cross and the Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary have completed their nationwide tour of the 52 Archdioceses and dioceses of the country as a prelude to the celebration of the 3rd National Youth Day, NYD celebration slated for Onitsha from 7th – 11th August, 2012.
This was disclosed by Rev. Fr. Charles Ndubisi, National Secretary of CBCN Youth Committee who added that the last provincial journey celebration which started in Lafia Diocese on May 7th will end with the hosting by Abuja Archdiocese on June 1, 2012. The nationwide trip of the Cross and the Icon started at the opening Mass of the second Plenary Meeting of the Bishops in September 2011, in Abakaliki, Imo State.
According to the Youth Committee Secretary, the movement of the National Youth Day Cross and Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary round the provinces and dioceses of Nigeria was to sensitize the grassroots on the forth coming third National Youth Day.
“It was also a way of living out the mandate of Blessed John Paul II, who called on Catholic Youths to carry the Cross to the whole Nations proclaiming that it is only through Christ who died and rose from the dead that salvation could be achieved,” he added.
Fr. Ndubisi continued: “The Cross challenged our young people to follow Christ, our Lord and saviour who died on the Cross, and invited all to take up the Cross and follow him. We are grateful to all the dioceses that hosted and celebrated with the Cross/Icon of our Blessed Virgin Mary. It was wonderful, and the youths who participated in the programme, have really received tremendous spiritual benefits.”
And at a preparatory meeting for the Onitsha National Youth Day celebration, attended by over 75 chaplains and officers of youth groups from different parts of the country, last week, the participants reviewed the NYD Cross and Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary countrywide tour and reviewed the preparations for the August ceremony.
According to Fr. Charles Ndubisi, the meeting was also to “make the chaplains and the leaders of the youth groups take ownership of the programme.” The participants were further briefed on the arrangements made so far by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) while the forthcoming 28th World Youth Day in Rio, Brazil and the challenges of Africae Munus for youths of the country were also discussed.