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  • Nigel Akuani

Be Compassionate and Rooted in CHRIST

Kiunga, Western Province: “Have a heart and care for everything. Be compassionate toward others and be rooted in Christ as He is the foundation of our lives,” said Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Gilles Côté SMM, to Catholic faithful and Christian communities of his diocese and to all in Papua New Guinea.

The sharing by Bp Gilles made during a brief interview on Thursday 9th September 2021, gave an insight of the Bishop’s hopes and intentions for the diocese after his leave from the diocese and country scheduled in November 2021.

Bp Gilles highlighted the importance of nurturing a personal relationship in Christ and said, “When we live our lives in Christ putting him before everything we do, it is essential to maintain this relationship by living it and making it inclusive by sharing our experiences of Christ in our lives with others. When we grow, we grow in Holiness together.”

After spending 50-years in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, he described how the country moulded him into a ‘winner-in-Christ’ and said he would return home fulfilled, triumphant and spiritually enriched. “I’ve lived here for fifty years which has been a long time indeed, and throughout these years, PNG has given me so much. It gives me great privilege to know that when I return to Canada, I will return as a winner made rich in Christ through the experiences of spreading the Gospel’s Good News with many,” he said.

He reassured the people that the new Bishop of Daru-Kiunga, Bp Joseph Durero SVD, was capable of caring for the diocese and will work closely with the diocese’s clergy, religious, laity and youth. “As I will depart at the beginning of November, I am grateful and deeply comforted because Bp Joseph sees the richness of how we live as a Church of participation and communion, and has decided to walk the Journey of Faith with all the people in the Diocese. Let us thank God and the Holy Spirit for choosing the person to shepherd the diocese,” he said.

“We have been walking our Journey of Faith as a diocese for 21-years and are now harvesting good fruits from our constant efforts to live and promote Gospel values and good Melanesian values. I invite everyone in the diocese to trust that what we have been doing is the will of God, and to actively walk with us on this Journey,” he added.

In his word of advice for those wishing to carry out missionary works in Papua New Guinea, Bp Gilles urged for them to come to the country and embrace the opportunity to live an enriching life as a Missionary. “They are spiritually united. The people live a simple way of life and live in Faith. Go and live a rich experience of being a priest and missionary among people who are very much alive in Christ,” he insisted.

He drew to a conclusion his sentiments with a firm call to the people of the Diocese Daru-Kiunga to get involved and carry on with the Catholic faith and legacy established by the Canadian Montfort Missionaries.

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