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Blessing of St Martin de Porres Parish

- Fr Vinod D’Mello

Morata: His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC and Apostolic Nuncio of PNG and Solomon Islands, His Excellency Most Rev. Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal along with 12 priests and representatives from 15 religious congregations were present on 28 April, 2018 to take part in the blessing of the newly renovated and extended St. Martin de Porres Parish Church, Morata.

The ceremony began with the Chimbu community with their traditional bilas, singsing and dance welcomed His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC and Apostolic Nuncio of PNG and Solomon Islands, His Excellency Most Rev. Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal. The ceremony began with the cutting of the ribbon and the opening of the curtain at the entrance of the Church by His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC which was accompanied with a loud cry of joy by the Western Highlands Mothers. The entrance procession was led by Enga Mamas. After the Entrance Procession and Hymn the Cardinal welcomed the people for the celebration saying, “Today is the great day in the history of the St. Martin de Porres Parish, Morata as community of Morata has come together to celebrate the fruit of their hard work. It is this beautiful Church. They are filled with joy and gratitude to God for this beautiful gift they have received from Him. It is not only people coming together and different cultures coming together to mark this occasion. Because they experienced that this is the fruit of their community life.” Cardinal began with the ceremony of the blessing of the Church.  

The Bible procession was led by Western Highlands Group.  Apostolic Nuncio His Excellency Most Rev. Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal during the homily said, “I want to congratulate you (parishioners of St. Martin de Porres Parish, Morata) on this accomplishment that demonstrates your strong faith, your dedication to the Lord and your love for the Church.”

He continued saying, “Life is like a book. The first chapter and the last chapter are already written by God and the between chapters are to be written by each one of us. So when we try to write those in between chapters, this church becomes an influential element of our story.”

He added on saying, “If we are not able to become the Temple of God as individuals or persons, our visits to this church, our celebrations in this church are all in vain…We are celebrating the blessing of our renovated church building but what is much more important are the people who use this church building. It is they who give it its significance and not the other way around.”

He encouraged people saying, “The temple was not simply a place where prayers were offered and answered. The temple was the place where the heart, and mind, and soul of the person doing the praying was shaped and formed. In fact, God sets down four guidelines, a kind of precondition for hearing and answering our prayers. First we must humble ourselves in the presence of God and recognize that without God we can do nothing. The second thing, we must pray. As a third guideline, we need to discover God’s plans in our life. Finally, God wants us to stop doing definitively the things that takes us away from him. If we are faithful to these four guidelines, God will hear our prayers. He will forgive our sins and He will bless all of us and he will heal our land.”

He concluded saying, “These walls of the church cannot go out and bring people to the love of Christ. We are the church, and we have to go out to the crowd, we have to go out to this world, and invite them to this place of worship through our Christian witness and we are called to bring them here.”

After the homily, The Altar was being blessed with the Oil of Chrism and the Holy Incense. The offertory procession was led by Momase Region and the Final procession by Manus Group.

After the Holy Eucharist, the parishioners of Morata served a grand agape of 9 roased pigs and other delicious food items being served to the invited guests and other people. It was followed by various communities and groups performing cultural and entertainment activities to mark the occasion as a sign of their joy.

His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC said, “The church building construction has brought people together keep away the difference of clans, tribes, provinces and regions they belong to. They have worked together as a community of Morata to complete this church building and the finished building is the witness of their togetherness. I pray that let this togetherness help them to live a good life as individuals and build up better communities.”

Mr. John Ombu, the Community Leader said, “We are very grateful to the Congregation of Montfort Missionaries. It is their hard work to bring us together that this dream of a new church has come true for us the people of Morata.”

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