- Nigel Akuani
Encountering Jesus Christ through Prayer
Holy Eucharist Ends 3RD General Assembly
Mingende, Simbu Province: A final Eucharistic Celebration was recently held to officially bring to an end the 3RD General Assembly of the Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
The closing mass held on Monday 25th April 2022, at the St Joseph’s Grandstand in Mingende Parish, had as its main celebrant, Archbishop Anton Bal of Madang, with the homily given by Bishop of Lae, Rosario Menezes.
Also presiding over the celebration were 15 Bishops, Priests, Religious, Seminarians, Lay personnel, Officials from the Catholic Bishops Conference PNG&SI, parishioners, families, and media personnel.
Bp Menezes delivered a captivating homily that stressed the need for Catholics and Christians alike to rise and boldly speak for Jesus against current notions that contradicted his teachings.
“The Catholic faith and all its practices are all founded from Jesus Christ, and through baptism we are anointed Missionaries of Christ. By baptism we receive the ministry of Jesus to go out and share the good news. We have a responsibility like the disciples and we need to preach and let people know that Jesus Christ is alive,” he explained.
“Through Christ, God has given us His gifts. We are instruments of Jesus and it is only by humbling ourselves that we can be able to recognize God’s amazing power and trust Him in all our ways,” Bp Menezes said.
He reflected on the current practices of scoffers who twisted and misinterpreted the Catholic faith that caused significant divisions, and cautioned faithful to be strong in Christ. “Don’t believe the lies and gossip spawned by the dark forces of the devil. Carry your cross, stand firm in your faith, and trust in Jesus Christ’s power, just as his disciples did,” he said.
Recalling the assembly’s theme, he said, “As salt and light we were meant to attract others into our lives, and to know and live the Christian Life. By accepting God as our Father, we all can have a personal encounter with Jesus through constant prayer, bible reading and receiving of the sacraments.”
Following mass, as a token of appreciation and signifying the theme ‘Salt and Light’, the assembly’s participants were given a sapling of a local Yar Tree and a Votive Candle. A speech of gratitude was given by, Bishop of Kundiawa, Paul Sundu.
Bp Sundu expressed great joy at the accomplishment of the 3rd GA in his diocese, and thanked each participant for their combined efforts in formulating a new Conference Pastoral Plan for the Catholic Church. “The General Assembly was a journey of newly rekindled faith and prayer, and may these gifts be a reminder to become the salt in preserving the faith and the guiding light in your parishes and communities,” he urged.