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  • Bp. Rolando C. Santos CM

Family Festival and Congress

The 1st and 2nd of October 2022 are two big days for the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea. We will be holding the first National Family Festival and Congress at the large auditorium of the Caritas Secondary School in Port Moresby. We are expecting more than 2,000 participants for this big occasion. It will be the closing celebration of the Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family. The bishops of Papua New Guinea and the apostolic nuncio will be present. The prefect of the dicastery for the Evangelization of Peoples, Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, will be our extraordinary special guest. He will preside at the closing Mass on the 2nd of October.

The over-all theme of the two-day Family Festival & Congress is Family Love: a Vocation and Path to Holiness. The theme of the closing Mass is Evangelized and Evangelizing Families - Salt and Light of Church and Society.

The two days will be a grand festival to give thanks to God for the gift of love in the family, and a wonderful occasion to re-commit ourselves to the Christian values of marriage and family.

The first day of the Congress will be given to catechesis. There will be talks by bishops, and testimonies by lay people on how they live their Christian vocation as married couples and families. The second day, Oct. 2, will be dedicated mainly to celebration. There will be a one-hour festival of prayer to be presented by young people, followed by the closing Mass with the bishops. Before the end of the Mass, there will be launching the 5-year conference pastoral plan of the CBC Family Life Commission, and the giving of the Missionary Mandate to couples and families.

We expect delegates and participants to come mainly from the archdiocese of Port Moresby, but also from the other dioceses and archdioceses in Papua New Guinea. We ask the faithful of the different dioceses to hold a second collection so that they can send delegates to this important occasion. We also ask families in the different parishes of Port Moresby to open their homes and provide hospitality to participants coming from other dioceses and archdioceses. We ask families to bring food on the 2nd day and share this with others just like brothers and sisters in the one big family of God. Whatever collection we get from the two Masses will go to helping poor families.

May I ask you to recite during your Sunday Masses the prayer provided for the Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family so that the Lord and his Blessed Mother may bless this extraordinary occasion for the glory of God and the good of all families in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the rest of the world.

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