Bl Peter ToRot celebrations continue in PNG

 -          Paul Harricknen, Catholic Professionals

 

Port Moresby: Catholic faithful continue the anniversary celebrations of their hero and martyr Bl. Peter ToRot during the month of July 2020. This year marks the 25 years of his Beatification by John Paul II in 1995 and 75 years of his Martyrdom in 1945.

 

The faithful of St Joseph’s Boroko parish held their celebrations on Sunday 19 July 2020 with the main Eucharist celebration during the 9.30 Am Mass led by the assistant parish priest, Fr. Joseph Liaia, CP and assisted by the parish priest Fr. John Curtis, CP.

 

Fr. Joseph echoing the Sunday Gospel reading on the Wheat and the Weed in Mathew 13: 24-30 related Jesus’ parable to Bl. Peter ToRot’s life as an example of the good seed, a firm rock, sure commitment of faith and courage, especially during the times of war and Japanese occupation. “Courage is the strength of mind capable of conquering whatever challenge there may be in life … and Peter ToRot has shown us the way”, said Fr. Joseph. ToRot has also shown married spouses the way to live out marriage commitments and relationships, even for those in religious vows. We are encouraged to keep our faith commitments to God and with each other and continue to allow good seeds of wheat to grow in us with gentleness, patience, respect and trust in God always especially during times of difficulties and uncertainties.

 

Many faithful expressed joy in the celebrations. “Mi amamas stret long dipela celebresen” (I am overjoyed in this celebrations), said Francisca Gawi of BCC 3. The parish priest Fr. John said outside the Church that there obviously is life and spirit in everyone. Every place needs a saint, a hero, a role model of faith and PNG certainly has in Bl. Peter ToRot. Saint John Paul II knew that when he made ToRot a Blessed in 1995. 

 

President of Blessed Peter ToRot Foundation Mr. Alfred Nakue added, indeed we have to use the example of Peter ToRot to strengthen our marriages and relationships and help those in difficulties to find courage to build their lives while at the same time we work towards the cause of ToRot’s canonization. Mr. Fidelis Aran, chair of the parish liturgy committee echoed the general feeling that such joy in the celebrations almost declares July being the month of Bl. Peter ToRot. 

 

Peter ToRot was an apostle, responding to the call of Jesus to the people of New Britain, PNG and the World as a lay missionary. ToRot was a seed and sower of the Catholic Christian faith in New Britain, PNG and the world. All glory to the Father, the Son and to the Holy Spirit, and may Bl. Peter ToRot continue to pray for us and strengthen our faith, amen.

 

The St Augustine community of BCC 6 provided the singing, the Tolai Wairiki village community of Murray Barracks joined BCC 6 for the lively entrance procession, the BCC 6 youth did the offertory procession and the Bl. Peter ToRot community of BCC 4 provided another lively dismissal procession. The Spirit of their hero Bl. Peter ToRot was obviously present in the celebrations among the approximately over 300 cheerful participants.

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