National Youth Convention opened
8th to 12th December, 2018, Archdiocese of Rabaul
Abigail Seta and Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
Vunapope, Rabaul: The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) in partnership with the Archdiocese of Rabaul officially opened the National Youth Convention (NYC) on Saturday, 8th December 2018, Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Vunapope, Rabaul.
It has as its theme: Called to the fullness of Life and Love.
260 young people representing the different dioceses in the country gathered at Vunapope, East New Britain province to participate at this time of prayer, reflection and growth in faith.
Archbishop Francisco Panfilo SDB, Archbishop of Rabaul was the main celebrant at the Opening Eucharistic celebration. Bp Rochus Tatamai MSC; Bp Peter Baquero SDB; Bp Rolando Santos CM and twenty priests concelebrated at the Eucharist.
“I entrust you, young people to Mary of Nazareth,” said Archbishop Francisco SDB. “Respond fully like Mary with a generous, ‘Here, I am”, encouraged the Archbishop as he addressed the youth at the homily.
In his homily he touched on: 1. Gods loving power to make us holy, 2. A provident God who gives us the necessary qualities for our mission and 3. Nothing is impossible with God. He reminded the young people of the Fathers dream for each one of them and that they should not lose hope and entangle themselves in drugs, violence, sexual interaction and the like.
The Eucharist was animated by the Archdiocese of Rabaul with harmonious singing and lively traditional dances by the Wairiki and Paparatava parishes.
The participants were welcomed at a colourful ceremony with the National Flag and province flags being carried by flag bearers of the host diocese. Bp Peter Baquero SDB opened the Convention. Each diocese presented their logo and slogans and artistically designed banners accompanied by young people in traditional attire. It was their expression of what the theme means to them. A whip dance was among the items presented. Traditional gifts and tokens of welcome were presented to the guests and the different diocesan groups.
In speaking to the young people, Bp Rochus Tatamai MSC, encouraged the young people to live as Mary did. He said, “You have this privileged time to discern, seek counsel and take the right decision for your lives. Do not distort the temple of the body of Christ”.
“I trust you we will take to heart what has been shared at this convention, put it into your lives and practice it,” said Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, CBC Secretary for the Social Communication and Youth office. The Convention has been organized by Christian Mangvue, Joseph Dunley and a number of National Youth Convention committees.
The highlights of the program include: the celebration of Life – celebrating the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation and preparing young people for the Sacrament of Marriage. The Pilgrimage will give us the opportunity to visit the important sites of the birth, martyrdom and death of Bl. Peter ToRot. An important session will be the challenge to take on the pledge to ‘live pure’ until marriage.
The National Youth Convention will conclude on Thursday, 12th December with a Thanksgiving mass.