Involving activities at the National Youth Convention
- Abigail Seta and Liz Gavuri
Young people had an inspiring and enjoyable day with a variety of activities at Vunapope, Rabaul during the National Youth Convention on Sunday, 9th December, 2018.
‘Prepare’ and ‘Repent’ were the key words of Bp Rolando Santos CM, as he spoke to the congregation at the Eucharistic celebration on the Second Sunday of Advent.
The morning sessions gave pointers for reflection and had inputs that prompted relevant questions of faith, vocation, life and love. ‘Always listen, Encounter and Awakening’ were the points that Bp. Peter Baquero SDB dealt with in his session. He shared that at the Synod on Youth, the focus was on listening – to the young, above all to the spirit speaking to the young. He dwelt on having an encounter with God and each other and challenged the participants to new and committed ways of life.
“Young people have to be involved and empowered,” he said as he called all to holiness.
Sharing his vocation story, Bp Rolando Santos CM, encouraged the young people to pray and not be afraid to witness to Christ. His session entitled: ‘The Eucharistic in your Life,’ gave practical tips on how young people can build up a relationship with Christ and understand the dream of the Father for each of them.
In the afternoon, participants went on a work of mercy and visited patients at the St. Mary’s Hospital, Vunapope. The participants prayed while they went in procession from the Diocesan Hall to the Vunapope Hospital. Different groups visited the different wards of the hospital.
A few of the patients expressed that they were happy and blessed to have young people visit, speak, pray and share ‘Gods Word’ with them. An old lady said, “Tok blong God em i gutpla, mi hamamas long tok blong God” (God’s word is good and I am happy).
“Although we are from different dioceses, we are here together as one to share the Word of God with you all,” said Michael Augustine, a participant from the Archdiocese of Port Moresby. The group in the Maternity ward, knelt on the corridor and prayed the rosary.
“We pray that God will fill the lives of every new born child, those yet to be born and their parents, with His life and love”, said the leader as he led the rosary. T
The campfire at the end of the day was a time to celebrate the events of the day, enjoy each other’s company and draw closer in fellowship and friendship. It was opened by Bp. Rochus Tatamai MSC, CBC president for PNGSI.
Present for the event were John Cardinal Ribat MSC, Bp Rolando Santos CM, Bp Pedro Baquero SDB and a number of religious and friends. The different dioceses presented meaningful songs, lively dances and thunderous claps. Items were also presented by Cardinal John and Bp. Rochus. The crackling of the flames and the warmth of the fire has brought the participants together in a closer bond of fellowship and friendship.
The participants look forward to the pilgrimage planned for Rakunai and the important sites of Bl Peter ToRot. It will also be a day of conversion as participants will be offered the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.