Bishop Rochus receives CSM award
-Fr Ambrose Pereira
Port Moresby: Rev. Bishop Rochus Joseph Tatamai, MSC, DD was invested with the Insignia of the ‘Companion of the Order of the Star of Melanesia’ (CSM), on 4th April, 2019 at the Government House, Port Moresby.
Bp Rochus received this award for his service to the community and the Catholic Church from His Excellency, Grand Chief Sir Bob Bofeng Dadae, GCL, GCMG, KSt.J.
His significant contribution as a Priest with diverse roles in Pastoral ministry, promoting vocations, the ‘Voice of Peter ToRot’ radio and television, as Bishop of Kerema, Bereina and Kavieng is recognized. He is also appreciated for his wider leadership as the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
“When the award was announced this year, I was at Lavongai, where a mother and a child died. This award symbolises the people who struggle and I accept this award on behalf of them. The award is for priestly and community service. It therefore belongs to the people”, said Bp Rochus. “With my role as the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, it is my duty to highlight the plight of the people and voice the concerns as we stand up against the corruption, abuse and violence that is present in our society”, he continued.
“The challenge is also our ability to share the resources God has blessed us with. Secondly, we need to make efforts to have an inclusion mentality for all our people in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Therefore, rather than being self-centred, our focus needs to be to share these with the less fortunate”, said Bp Rochus.
Present for the ceremony was his sister Mechtild Tili Palawo, who has been involved in the field of education for the past 30 years. “He has been kind and loving to all of us. He has given us an example in responsibility and leadership. It is wonderful that he is recognized for his service to the Church and the people”, she said.
“He has been humble, down to earth, concerned about young people and has highlighted issues of marriage and family. He has been an outspoken figure highlighting the effects of Climate Change and Sea Bed Mining. While we congratulate him, we pray that he will continue to be the outspoken figure in the country”, said Michaela Dion, a friend of the family of Bishop Rochus.
The Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands congratulates Bp Rochus on his reception of the ‘Companion of the Order of the Star of Melanesia’ (CSM), award.