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  • Nigel Akuani

Diocese of Goroka rejoices for new bishop

Kefamo, Eastern Highlands Province: The Diocese of Goroka rejoiced as they welcomed the newly ordained Bishop of Goroka, Valentine Gryk SVD, on Saturday, 7th May 2022 at the Episcopal Ordination that was held at Kefamo Parish.

A jubilant vibe filled the atmosphere and grounds around the Kefamo Parish, as thousands gathered to witness the ordination of their new Bishop. Key consecrators to the ceremony included His Eminence, Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC; and Archbishop Douglas Young SVD of Mt Hagen.

The consecration was graced by the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to PNGSI, Fermin Emilio Rodriguez, thirteen Bishops, Priests, Religious, Seminarians, delegates from Rome, Poland and the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Congregation, parishioners from surrounding communities, families, friends from far and near, media personnel.

“Yupla save long mi na mi save long yupla, em nau taim we bai yumi wok bung wantaim grasia bilong God Papa na mekim nem blong em kamap bikpela,” said Bishop Valentine Gryk SVD, after his Episcopal Ordination as the new Bishop of Goroka.

Bp Gryk in sharing his sentiments as the new Bishop, thanked both clergy and lay who had gathered to celebrate the Diocese’s prestigious milestone and reminded all of their important roles as Christians. “Jises em laikim yumi olgeta long kamap wanpela aninit long em. Bipo long em ibin dai em bin pre na tok olsem husait laik bihainim em bai kamap wan wantaim em,” he said.

He reflected on the month of May as one of honouring and seeking the intercession of St Mary and told of how his mother had an impact on his vocation to become a priest. “Taim mama ikarim mi em bin gat bikpla sik tasol em lukautim mi. Em karim mi go long haus lotu na lainim mi long pre. Na em bin tokim mi bihain long odinesen, long displa taim bai mi ofarim yu long helpim Mama Maria. Yu oraitim em, bai mi givim em long yu long lukautim na bai em ken helpim ol narapla barata susa bilong pikinini bilong yu Jises,” Bp Gryk added.

In his speech, the Nuncio urged for all people to stand firm as Christians and to walk with their new Bishop on the path of righteousness. “I invite all people of Goroka to walk together with your new Bishop on the path of holiness. Altogether, we build the sanctification of love. My dear Bishop Valentine, may Mother Mary guide your steps toward his son and bring you peace in your heart so you can guide with wisdom the diocese you have been entrusted,” he stated.

Cardinal Ribat congratulated the Catholic communities of Goroka and described Bp Gryk’s ordination as being an achievement for all Christians throughout the country. “Displa bikpla hamamas em bungim yumi, nae m hamamas blong Sios insait long olgeta Papua Niugini na Solomon Ailan. God isingautim Bisop Gryk long bungim yumi na strongim bilip blong yumi, na nau em wok blong yumi long wok klostu wantaim nupla Bisop blong yumi na pre bai em ken holim pas displa wok blong Papa God,” he added.

Abp Young recalled when the diocese was left without a Bishop 2-years ago following the departure of Bishop Darius Kaluza for Bougainville but reminded the faithful gathered that their prayers were now answered. “Yupla ibin pre, yupla ibin weit, na yupla ibin hop, na yupla ibin hanger bai yupla iken painim wanpla gutpla wasman blong yupla, nan au tude displa pre blong yu ikairim kaikai kamap. Wanpela yangpela priest ibin kam long Goroka long 1985 na yupla ibin treinim liklik, nan au em ikam bek 37-yias bihain blong kamap Bisop blong yupla,” he said.

Health Officer of Catholic Church Health Services, Alfred Koko, said he was elated at the good news of his diocese now having its own Bishop and assured that he would help in his own capacity to push forward the works of the diocese. “I thank God for appointing us a new Bishop in our time of need and in just less than two years. This is an affirmation that we have a major task in building our Christian faith as Catholics,” he stated.

An emotional and grateful lad of Kefamo, Miroslaw Apini, made a personal promise to work closely with priests and the new bishop to help bring the gospel of Jesus to youth struggling to adapt to society.

Hailing from Poland, Bp Gryk, spent more than 30-years serving in Goroka before being appointed by Pope Francis in Rome as the diocese’s new Bishop. He is the diocese’s seventh bishop and successor of its former Bishop, Darius Kaluza.

Local traditional dances were performed by groups from Enga, Goroka, and East New Britain that accompanied the ordination processions. Following the consecration, an array of energetic presentations were given by groups and youth from various parishes and outstations.

- Photographs: Bro. Wiktor Kanarski

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