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Counseling and Pastoral Accompaniment Workshop for priests

Gordons, Port Moresby: A successful Capacity Skills Building workshop on ‘Marriage Counselling and Pastoral Accompaniment’ held from May 23rd – 1st June at the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI had the participation of 34 Diocesan priests, 2 Bishops and 3 Religious nuns.


Organized by the CBC Family Life Commission, the workshop was aimed at equipping the participants, especially priests with marriage counseling skills so that they are able to implement these skills in their pastoral ministries when dealing with families in their respective parishes and dioceses.

Family Life Commission Secretary Sr. Lucy D’Souza MSI said that her commission aims to form and empower the priests so that as formed persons, they go back to their dioceses to train more priests to plan and work with the people.

“They are really the backbone of marriage counseling and pastoral accompaniment apostolate of their parishes and they are the best service providers who can reach remote and difficult places to listen to families, couples, youth and children who face problems and difficulties in their daily life”, she said.

The informative sessions facilitated by Fr. Nelson Mathew Mapiria JCL touched on the topics of Marriage Counselling and Pastoral Accompaniment, Influence of Law on Marriage and Family, Basic Concepts-Foundations of Catholic Marriage Law, Grounds of nullity, Diriment Impediment and Canonical Form of Marriage.

Also present as a guest facilitator was Diocesan Child Protection officer Mr. Clement Waiker who presented sessions on Basic counseling skills.

The workshop also allowed for Bishop Deputy for Family Life Commission Bishop Rolando Santos CM and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Rabaul Abp. Rochus Tatamai MSC to present on the topics of Reaching out: Parish Mission/Marriage Campaign, Canonical and Civil Requirements for Marriage and Mitis Ludex (The Lord Jesus, Clement Judge) respectively.

The two-week program concluded on Wednesday, June 1st with the presentation of certificates and a little ceremony to commemorate Bp Rolando’s 48th years of Religious life.

General Secretary for CBCPNGSI Fr. Giorgio Licini PIME congratulated the priests and the Family Life Commission on the successful workshop and gave the participants well wishes on their pastoral work as they return to their dioceses.

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