62nd AGM for Bishops officially opened
Port Moresby: The 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) was officially opened with a Eucharistic Celebration on Tuesday, 22nd June.
With the theme: ‘Our Catholic Laity: Holy, Formed and Sent for Service’, the eucharist was celebrated by Archbishop of Port Moresby, Cardinal Sir John Ribat MSC. Joining him in celebration was Archbishop of Madang and President of CBC, Abp Anton Bal, Archbishop of Mt Hagen, Abp Douglas Young and Bishop of Bereina, Bp Otto Separy.
Altogether, there were 15 Bishops, 3 bishop elects and Diocesan administrators from two dioceses present. They were joined by the CBC staff, Youth of St John the Apostle parish in Tokarara and lay people who led a culturally diverse liturgy. Unfortunately, the Solomon Islands Bishops cannot attend the AGM due to COVID-19 pandemic and international flights restrictions.
At the start of the mass, the southern region staff of CBC in their traditional attire from the Rigo and Abau district of Central province led the entrance procession with a welcome song and swaying of their colorful grass skirts as the bishops followed.
Speaking at the homily, Cardinal John reflected on the gospel of the day that highlighted: ‘Do to others what you would want them do to you’. He stated examples and invited all present to put this into practice as it is the only way for all peace and progress.
At the offertory, the New Guinea Islands region danced their way with their baskets of fruits to offer with harmonious singing by the youths from St John the Apostle parish in Tokarara.
During the recessional, the Momase region escorted the bishops out with a song and dance from Madang province. The Eucharist ended on a high note with the Bishops happy to kick-start the AGM.
The seven-day meeting will have a presentation of reports from Secretaries and Bishop Deputies of the various commissions highlighting their work in Christian Formation, Mission, and Integral Human Development.
The AGM will conclude on Wednesday, 30th June with a closing eucharistic celebration.