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Mary Help of Christians parish celebrates 1st Anniversary

-        Fr Möise Paluku sdb

The young parish of Mary Help of Christians Rapolo in PGS celebrated its first anniversary on the 16th August, the birthday of Don Bosco, at Vunabosco, Rabaul. 

The following communities of the parish were present for the celebration: Don Bosco School, Palnakaur, Ramale, Tobera, Malagunan, Nordup, Bitagalip Livuan and Assing. 

At the celebration of the first anniversary of the Parish the following were celebrated:

1.     The 205 birthday of Don Bosco. Though the parishioners are still new to the spirit of Don Bosco, yet the celebration was vibrant like St. John Bosco was alive in the hearts of people.

2.     Gratitude to Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB, whose resignation has been accepted by the Holy Father, Pope Francis as the Archbishop of Rabaul. People expressed their thanks through simple token of appreciation and openness of heart. 

3.     Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation of 121 young boys and girls, 6 adult Baptism and 11 first Holy Communion. 

4.     Celebration of the Salesian Cooperators who renewed their promises and one who made her first promise. 

The day had three parts: the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, a Moment of fellowship with kaikai and entertainment. In his homily during the celebration of the holy Eucharist, Archbishop Panfilo reminded the community to thank the Lord for the great gifts we receive daily. “Thank the Lord for the gift of life, the sacraments, friendship and faith’, he siad. In highlighting the life of St. John Bosco, he reminded the Christians that Don Bosco struggled during his life. Yet he faced challenges and never gave up. 

Archbishop Panfilo mentioned to the parishioners that he is celebrating his 56 anniversary of Salesian life. He challenged the young people present in the Mass to always ask the Lord, ‘What do you want from me’ as they journey in their life. He also mentioned that he was the one who brought the Salesians to East new Britain and that his heart is attached to the people of Rabaul.

The parish priest and Rector, Fr. Möise Paluku, SDB thanked the Archbishop for his availability to the people in the diocese, especially for the gift of the Parish Mary Help of Christians. He also thanked the FMA sisters who are very supportive in the common mission to the young, the Salesian cooperators, the former parish Priest Fr. Paul Kote and the formators in Rapolo Seminary helping at the Masses, the Parish Pastoral Council and catechist for assisting in passing on the faith to the people. Mr. Michael Ilam from Palnakaur and Mrs Julian from Bitagalip also shared words of gratitude to the Archbishop on behalf of the people and the women.

With a spirit of gratitude and joy, the people gathered in their communities for lunch while the young who received the sacraments and the invited guests shared a sumptuous meal in the school covered-court. All the parishioners went home after a very long and spontaneous entertainment in the school multipurpose hall. 

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