Wabag, Enga Province: His Eminence Cardinal Sir John Ribat MSC, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Port Moresby, Bishop Otto, Bishop of Bereina, and Fr. Victor Roche SVD visits Catholic Diocese of Wabag to bless the Early Childhood Ministry on 19 December 2020. All the children from the Diocese of Wabag gathered for two days at Rosary Hill, Bethesida in Sangurap Parish for the blessing of their ministry.
The two-day gathering was filled with children, parents and guardians from various parishes in Enga, namely; Sangurap, Sari, Par, Pipres, Keman, Kompiam, Pina, Wanepap, Mariant, Kasap, Piam, Mugulap and Tsikiro with thier Parish priests.
The early childhood ministry was the initiative of Fr. Thomas Waikene three years ago. It is not a new ministry in the Catholic church but a branch of the Pontifical Mission Society, and he only bring it to the level of the children with new style, language and approach in response to the signs of the time in today's world.
It was started at Calvary Hill, one of the remote basic Christian communities in Tubiop outstation in Wanepap Parish some three years ago. Now with the support of priests and Christians of Wabag Diocese, it is finally recognized by the Diocese as one of the priority areas in the pastoral plan and thus Cardinal blessed it on this date.
Bishop Otto in his homily encouraged the parents to take responsibility to educate the children with ethics of life. And Cardinal give the closing remarks and urge the parents to recognize the need of children in the church so that they can be given a chance to be part and parcel of churches' ministry. And he concluded that this awesome inactive of childhood ministry is the foundation of a better nation and it has to reach every diocese in the country and Solomon Islands.
Finally, he blessed the children, the youth of the Vocation Club (they are the teachers of the children) and the carpenters who built the childhood formation houses.
It was indeed a great blessing to the Diocese of Wabag. The worms of evil that has confused and destroyed the minds and hearts of children for so many years has escaped from the soil of Enga and paved the way for spring of life and transformation to follow. Second visits of Cardinal Ribat are not just another visit but it brought the dawn of new era, the birth of New Children of Enga and PNGSI.