Struthers teens craft palm crosses in memory of Jesus
By LINDA M. LINONIS
Parishioners at area churches will have processions with palms this weekend, recalling Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem.
The Gospels note that Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, a symbol of peace, while the crowd spread palm branches in his path. John 12:13 reads: “Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed [is] the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
The event fulfilled a prophecy by Zechariah in Zechariah 9:9.
The youth ministry at Christ Our Savior Parish crafted crosses out of palms to distribute to parishioners today and Sunday after masses at St. Nicholas and Holy Trinity churches. The palm crosses serve as a reminder of how Jesus entered Jerusalem and the events that followed in his Passion.
Laurie Sanders and Jean Ciccone, youth ministers, supervised the palm crosses project. The youth ministry’s participants fluctuate between 20 to 25 youth ranging in age from seventh to 12th grades.
Sanders said the reason behind the cross project is simple. “People saw members of the older generation making crosses out of palms and wanted to have them, too,” she said.
“The kids put the crosses on their mirrors at home or in cars,” she said. The palm crosses are more accessible and can be a reminder to youth about the events of Holy Week.
“We talked about the significance of events of Palm Sunday and what followed,” Sanders said.
Youth ministry members will accept donations of a dollar for palm crosses.
Those funds will help underwrite a trip to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., this fall. “We’re hoping to attend,” Sanders said.
The youth ministry also is involved in the community. In February, the ministry sponsored a dance for clients of Purple Cat, a neighbor of St. Nicholas Church and School.
“The kids were talking to clients, who told them how much they loved to dance so they decided to give them a dance,” Sanders said.
The ministry also made about three dozen knotted blankets for Mahoning County Children’s Services to distribute to young clients.
“Jesus has called us to live a life of service,” Sanders said. Members of the youth ministry, she said, are learning that even by doing “little things” for people, they are meaningful.
“To give service and help others is what our faith calls us to do,” she said.