Opening Mass for FCBCO delegates
Caritas, Port Moresby: The Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences Assembly (FCBCO) opening Eucharistic celebration was held at the Caritas Technical School, Boroko on Thursday, 12thApril.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin was the principal celebrant at the celebration. Cardinal John Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby, PNG; Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, NZ; Cardinal Soane Mafi, Tonga; Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio of Australia; Archbishop Martin Krebs, Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand, Bishops, priests, religious and faithful numbering nearly 2000 gathered for this celebration.
Sir Michael Somare and his wife, lady Veronica Somare were also present for the celebration.
The delegates were welcomed by youth dressed in traditional attire and a beautiful choir that led the rest of the people with harmonious singing. The Pomio dancing group and the Sacred Heart Youth from St Charles Lwanga led the entrance and offertory procession. The Eucharistic liturgy was coordinated by the MSC Lay Associates.
In his homily, the Secretary of State to His Holiness spoke on the importance of being united in the Church. “The Church is Apostolic precisely because she is founded on the teachings and examples of the apostles and upon their apostolic structure. Reading the acts of the apostles is a challenge to us. A challenge because we must try to emulate these acts,” he said.
He emphasized on the apostle’s obedience to God, stating that obedience to God comes before obedience to man. The Cardinal encouraged everyone to be obedient to the work of God and follow in the footsteps of Peter and the apostles.
At the end of a prayerful Eucharistic celebration, Cardinal John Ribat MSC expressed his gratitude to Cardinal Parolin. He then thanked Sir Michael Somare, the congregation, delegates and all the people who joined in the celebration.
The Sr Mazzarello Choi, SCG, the CARITAS sisters and students spared no effort to ensure that the gymnasium was tastefully decorated and all requirements for this important event were met.
John Lavu, Lucy Lavu, Josepha Wailoni, Gideon Giyovadulu were the coordinators for the event. Sr. Juliette De Leon FMA, Sr. Kumari Pappu FIHM, Sr. Yolanda Pugal SSJ and others coordinated arrangements on the liturgical side.
“It was wonderful to experience the warmth, spontaneity and the friendliness of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State as he stopped to bless the people present”, said a member of the congregation. Several made their way to greet the Cardinal.
The celebration has been an occasion to place before the Lord the needs of the country and of the people.