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1st SUNDAY OF LENT

posted 10 Mar 2019, 14:56 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 10 Mar 2019, 14:56 ]

The Thanking Cross comes to White City

As you enter the church this weekend, I am sure that you will not fail to notice(!) the huge, 5-metre long wooden crucifix resting in front of the altar. You may naturally ask: What is the cross? Why is it here?

It is called “The Thanking Cross” and it is a missionary cross, currently half way through a 30-year pilgrimage around the world. The inspiration behind this extraordinary mission was born on Easter Sunday 2003 in the heart of a Ukrainian man called Sobolivsky Vitaliy, who heard the words spoken to him: “Take my cross and carry it to all the capital cities of the world as a sign of gratitude for the salvation we receive through Jesus Christ.” This beautiful huge cross was carved from Ukrainian oak and on March 10, 2004 Pope John Paul II gave his blessing to the initiators of the mission as they set out on their round-the-world pilgrimage to bring the cross to every capital of the world up until 2033, the 2000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The aim is simply to call the people of the world to give thanks to God for Jesus’ death and resurrection, through which we receive the promise of eternal life. The pilgrimage hopes to unite all peoples of the world under the cross of our Lord, inviting us all to contemplate the great suffering and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, which he freely embraced out of love for us. 

This year the cross arrived in England and for the last few months has been welcomed into different churches here in London. This week I received a phone call totally out of the blue through the Missionary of Charity sisters asking if we would like to host the cross for 10 days. I realise that it poses some practical challenges having a 5-metre cross in front of the altar(!), but it just seems such an honour and extraordinary grace for the parish to host the cross and ourselves to contemplate in a fresh way the awesome gift of the cross. So come close & pray before it.

With best wishes & prayers from Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team.