FOUR old boys from Marist College Canberra, including two Australian Navy captains, teamed up during planning for the World Youth Day Cross and Icon’s history-making trip to the Great Barrier Reef last week.
The symbols were taken aboard the HMAS Broome and dipped in the Coral Sea during a prayer service on September 22 as Cairns diocese hosted the Journey of the Cross and Icon (JCI) in the lead-up to World Youth Day 08 (WYD08).
Cairns diocese WYD co-ordinator Deacon Matt Ransom said he and WYD JCI co-ordinator Fr Chris Ryan had discovered their connection with Lt Commander Aaron Nye of the HMAS Broome and Lt Commander Andrew Hawke of the HMAS Wollongong during planning for the trip to the Barrier Reef.
“It added a extra sense of warmth to what was already a special event that had received marvellous support from the Australian Navy,” Deacon Ransom said.
“The Cross and Icon visit was a world first in terms of it going to a reef, and I’m pretty sure dipping it in the ocean was a world first too.
“Once out there we prayed for the health of the Barrier Reef – and of the tourist industry upon which so many people depend for a living.”
The trip of the Cross and Icon to the Barrier Reef climaxed a series of major events in the far north.
Deacon Ransom said large groups welcomed the Cross and Icon in Ingham, Tully, Innisfail, throughout the tablelands, and up to Cooktown.
Mareeba also witnessed great devotion when the holy symbols arrived on September 20.
On September 24, the Cross and Icon were taken to Hammond Island which has the most northerly Catholic church in Australia.
The symbols were taken in a rosary walk to the church situated on the island’s highest point.
The Cross and Icon arrived in Darwin diocese on last Wednesday September 26 and will be there until next Thursday October 4.