Schools volunteer looks back on using the Lampedusa Cross



Lampedusa cross in the Leeds Volunteer Centre

The Lampedusa cross used by Paddy resting in the Leeds Volunteer Centre.

Schools Volunteer and Deanery Coordinator Paddy Spiller from Leeds recently used CAFOD’s Lampedusa Cross in a number of diocesan events. Here she sheds light on her recent experiences:


“The Lampedusa Crosses are made from the wreckage of the boat carrying refugees that foundered off the island of Lampedusa on 3 October 2013 with the loss of 349 lives. On two occasions I have used the Lampedusa Cross which is kept at the CAFOD office in Leeds.

Find out more on the Lampedusa Cross

The first occasion was at St Joseph’s school in Barnoldswick. With the top two classes, in the school hall, I lead a workshop on refugees. I had hoped that afterwards there might be time to do the Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage, but it was not to be. However, I did spend a couple of minutes walking around the hall, in among the groups of young people, talking about the cross. Following the workshop the significance of the cross was evident to them.

The second occasion was at the Knights of St Columba Youth Seminar which was held at Leeds Trinity University recently. Having started with a short discussion using the “Refugee Statistics Icebreaker” information, we made our pilgrimage around the chapel, an ideal space for this pilgrimage as it is spacious and fairly round, including a sizeable area of open floor space which easily accommodated my shower curtain map with about thirty people standing around it. All the people present wrote a message to the refugees.

Buy CAFOD Lampedusa Cards here

Next month, one evening after Mass, I am leading the pilgrimage in my own parish. I might have to put the map on PowerPoint, so that everyone can see it as I think the shower curtain might take up too much space, unless we move some chairs……? I’ve got a month to work that one out!”

If you or your parish would like to use the Lampedusa Cross or organise a pilgrimage, please ring Joanne Taylor on 0113 275 9302.

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