Catholic Bishops Conference Groundbreaking for Service
- Bishop Donald Lippert OFM Cap, Bishop of Mendi
The Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, gathered in Port Moresby for their Annual General Meeting, took part in a very joyful and hopeful activity – the Groundbreaking ceremony for the new headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC).
The new headquarters will be home to many of the departments of the CBC which assist in the coordination, planning and implementation of the evangelical and social outreach programs of the Catholic Church throughout PNGSI: Administration, Documentation, Religious Education, Education, Caritas, Family Life, and others. In the new facility there will also be some limited accommodation in order to provide hospitality to visiting bishops and other guests.
The bishops were honored by some special dignitaries who took part in the event: Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare; His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat (Archbishop of Port Moresby); His Grace, Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal (Apostolic Nuncio); His Lordship, Bishop Rochus Tatamai (recently elected President of the CBC), Mr. Peter Mildner (architect), and many others.
The ceremony consisted of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Bishop Rochus Tatamai turning over a few spadesful of earth to symbolically represent the beginning of the construction product. Before doing so, Sir Michael remarked that from this location, the care and service of the Catholic Church would radiate to every corner of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Bishop Rochus said that he was reminded that the church had been planted in the soil of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands many years ago by the first missionaries, and that the seed had continued to grow and flower since then with the blessing of God and power of the Spirit.
The old facilities located on the same Godwit Street location had proven inadequate to meet the needs of the growing Catholic community and its ever-extending service to the wider communities through PNGSI. The new facilities, funded by local and international donors, will equip the Catholic Bishops of PNGSI to respond more effectively in their mission of announcing the gospel of Jesus Christ and reaching out in service, especially to those who are most in need.
An enjoyable fundraising dinner was then held at Vision city.