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  • Nigel Akuani

Catholic Church Receives Hearty Traditional Welcome in Kundiawa

Mingende Launches 3RD General Assembly of Catholic Church

Kudiawa, Simbu Province – In receiving delegates attending the 3RD General Assembly of the Catholic Church of PNG&SI, a vibrant and extravagant traditional welcome was given by the local people of Mingende Parish in the Diocese of Kundiawa.

Held on Thursday 21st April 2022, Mingende’s atmosphere was ecstatic by the power of the Holy Spirit and filled with much anticipation as hundreds of people from surrounding parishes both near and far flocked in to witness the arrival of delegates for the General Assembly. The GA has as its theme ‘Salt and Light’, and is facilitated by Fr Victor Roche svd, New Evangelization Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI.

All coming from 19-Dioceses around the country, the distinguished guests included Bishops, Priests and Religious, Secretaries from CBCPNG&SI, Church Leaders and Coordinators, Lay and Chaplains, support staff, and media personnel of Catholic Communications.

Their walk had the deep sounds of kundu drums being beat, locally-made bamboo flutes being blown and harmonised with the echoes of traditional welcome songs, the resounding bellows of local tribesmen and women, and customary dances from the Goriyobar Parish and other various outstations. Truly, the entire Diocese of Kundiawa came alive to celebrate their Catholic Faith. Pupils from Callan Services Simbu, made a song and dance presentation entitled ‘Best Place is Simbu Province’ that created a sense of awe and appreciation among the group of special delegates.

In his welcome remarks, Bishop of Kundiawa, Paul Sundu, emphasized the importance of the assembly’s theme of ‘Salt and Light’, and described how during such times it was imperative to become the difference and change we wished to see in society. “It is a privilege having every one of you here in Mingende. We all collectively have a very important task and that is to be the light and salt in ourselves, our Catholic Church, and subsequently our Global Human Community. We live in an uncertain world with constant conflict, severe climate change, global economic downturn, political instability and fear of the future for ourselves and our future generations,” he said.

“It is our obligation to be a part of the healing process in ourselves, communities, church, our nation and humanity in its entirety. Our theme ‘Salt and Light’ reminds us to become beacons of hope and inspiration to others who are burdened by the troubles and challenges of this world,” he added.

After the guest’s arrival and procession onto the St Joseph’s Grand Stand, Parish Council Chairman, Peter Par, thanked and extended his appreciation for their availability to attend the program in Mingende. “Mingende is blessed and delighted for having these prominent people and all praise and thanks returns to God. It is now our responsibility to work closely with our Bishop to ensure that our guests are well taken care of and shown the hospitality they deserve,” he said.

The six-day Assembly runs from 21st – 26th April, and will focus on the History of the General Assembly, sharing of experiences and Synodality from Diocesan representatives, Diocesan Situation-Report presentation, Discussion on proposals, Planning and Formation of Conference Pastoral Plan, and the constant need to build the Catholic Faith and Voice in current social issues of governance.

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