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National World Youth Cross Day celebrated In Banjul

Jul 3, 2013, 11:54 AM | Article By: FR. EDU GOMEZ - Parish of the Resurrection, Brikama

The citizens of the Capital city of Banjul on Friday, 22nd June 2013 witnessed a huge procession of Christian youths with the Jesus Cross.The occasion marked the annual National World Youth day cross celebration.The activities marking this occasion was necessitated by the vision of the late Blessed Pope John Paul II who wished that Christian youths be a source of witness to Jesus Christ.He once called the youths “the future leaders of the Church.

The youth procession began with a prayer led by the Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Father Antoine Sambou. He prayed for the inspiration of the youths by the Holy Spirit so that they can carry out the procession prayerful. The procession was well organised and characterised by singing, clapping and dancing in an evangelical manner. The procession headed directly towards Banjul the capital city. The youths and some adult folks were all in very joyous and happy mood singing their hearts out in praise and thanksgiving.

At the entrance of Arch 22, the procession ceased for prayers to be said over the city for God’s guidance and protection. After the prayers, the singing, dancing and clapping mood continued. What was seen to able to identify the youth procession was a huge Jesus Cross. The Cross symbolizes the sign of salvation and redemption of all Christians. It is the Christian belief that Jesus Christ when condemned was nailed of a Cross on which he died. Three days after his death, he rose from death to life as he prophesied. The cross of Jesus in the words of the faithful. “It is the tree of life”.

The cross of Jesus is to be venerated since it is on it that Jesus died and Jesus had to die in order to save the world.  The national world youth day cross was at this time honoured in The Gambia but other countries follow and mark the occasion on their time and date.  The organisers are the Catholic Diocesan youth committee under the leadership of Rev. Father John Mendy.

The occasion had to be organised in Banjul because the Christian community of Banjul played host to the occasion and the National World Youth Cross.  In the past years the communities of St. Charles Lwanga, Fajikunda and the Resurrection Parish, Brikama were hosts.

The theme of the National Youth day 2013, was “Go and make disciples of all nations” Mat. 28:19. The theme called the youths to discipleship. Theirs is the mission not to sit but to reach out and make disciples for Jesus as it was commanded to the apostles many, many years ago. The procession which continued into Banjul ended at the Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral Banjul where the youths stayed for sometime in prayer and devotion. Other activities were observed over the weekend at the St Joseph’s Lower and Upper Basic School grounds. The camping included teachings, on the Church and other youth activities. The youths were fed with food for the whole day. On Sunday, the youths gathered together with all the Christians of Banjul Community to a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Ellison. 

At the mass the new chosen host for the national youth day cross was named and that was the Christian community of St. Kizito’s in Bakoteh and London Corner areas. All youths celebrated well and enjoyed the National World Youth Day Cross celebrations and looked toward another celebration in St. Kizito’s parish