-                Rosemary Yambune

 

Port Moresby: Half the staff of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI gathered to observe the nationwide   Repentance day on the 26th of August, 2020 in Port Moresby.

 

Secretary for Social Communications, Fr Ambrose Pereira, officiated the ceremony with a prayer followed by Sr Emma Lapun OLSH who highlighted the significance of repentance and compensation for peace restoration, in the context of Papua New Guinea culture.

 

Sr Emma got everyone to agree, as she said repentance in PNG has to be marked with physical objects that should remain as an indication of repentance being done. She also told of instances in the Bible where God showed mercy, such as Jonah’s story.

 

“If we sinners repent, God is always ready to forgive” She concluded.

 

There were physical items that connote the restoration of peace and forgiveness between two parties in PNG’s traditional context of repentance, such money in notes ranging from K20 to K100 attached to twig, even trees planted when peace is made, as a payment to compensate the trust lost, exchange of huge bundles of areca nuts are some way that native Papua New Guineans mend prolonged wrongdoing in oneself and between conflicting parties. All of these items were fixed in front of the altar throughout the entire occasion.

CBC observes Repentance Day

CBCPNGSI Staff pose beside altar

Attendees then prayed a decade of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. The brief event was concluded with a Holy Mass presided by the General Secretary for Catholic Bishops Conference, Fr Giorgio Licini together with Fr Ambrose, Pereira as the concelebrant. Fr Georgio shared on the gospel reading of Mt 23: 27-32 urging everyone within their BBC to encourage friends and families who stopped attending church, to return.

 

The organizer of the event Eva Wangihama, Secretary for Laity commission said repentance day is more than just a Public holiday, she commended the staff present and encouraged them to continue to observe repentance day in the future as employees of a Church organisation. The occasion ended with light refreshments prepared by the Hospitality team of CBCPNGSI.

CBCPNGSI Staff pose beside altar

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