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  • Jessica Oata

64th AGM for Bishops officially opened

Updated: May 30, 2023

Port Moresby: The 64th Annual General (AGM) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (CBCPNGSI) was officially opened with a heartwarming Eucharistic Celebration on Tuesday April 18, 2023.

For the first time since the borders opened after the COVID-19 pandemic and international flight restrictions, the Bishops from the Solomon Islands are able to attend the AGM.

With the theme: Our goal: A life of Communion, Participation and Mission as Salt and Light of the Earth (Mt 5:13-16), the Eucharistic Celebration had the Archbishop of Honiara Archdiocese Most Reverend Christopher Cardone OP as the principal celebrant. Joining him as the con-celebrant was the Bishop of Auki Diocese Most Reverend Peter Houhou.

Present at the mass were 19 Archbishops and Bishops from the archdioceses and dioceses of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Joining them were the staff of CBC and the choir group from St Michael’s Parish in Hanuabada who sang harmoniously. The Eucharistic celebration was also live-streamed on Facebook, allowing other Catholic faithfuls to join.

Basing his homily on the Gospel of John 3:7-15 which speaks about being born again and being witnesses of Christ, Archbishop Cardone encouraged everyone to live their truth and be witnesses of Christ in their lives, especially when our faith is challenged.

Archbishop Cardone recalled when he was first appointed to Gizo in 2001, he was challenged by other Catholic faithful to help the youths of Noro Parish in the little fishing town of Noro, Western Province.

“When they told me that our young people in Noro were always up to no good, I decided to help them. I soon noticed that the Japanese in town used to challenge the faith of our youths and ask them why they always celebrated Easter and Christmas every year. After a year or two of being with them and working with them, I noticed that our youths began to change for the better, they began to be alive in Christ”.

He concluded by saying that sometimes in life, all we need is a little challenge to our faith in order for us to defend it and find our purpose to be born again and be the light and salt of the Catholic Church.

The ten-day meeting will have the 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 Friday 28th April with a closing Eucharistic celebration led by the CBC staff.

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