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  • Nigel Akuani

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Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Aitape Celebrates Episcopal Ordination of 6th Bishop


Aitape, West Sepik Province: A positive and promising ambiance flowed across the whole Diocese of Aitape as it witnessed the Episcopal Ordination of its Sixth Bishop, Most Reverend Siby Mathew Peedikayil, HGN.

The Ordination and Eucharistic Mass had as its theme ‘The Love of Christ Impels Us’ and was held on Sunday 26th September 2021, at the Graduation Hall of St Ignatius Secondary School, Aitape. The theme was originally taken from the Latin expression: Caritas Christi Urget Nos (The love of Christ impels us - 2 Corinthians 5:14), the motto of Bishop Siby.


His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat, MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby was the main celebrant at the Episcopal Ordination. His Excellency, Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, representative of Pope Francis together with eight Bishops, Priests, Religious, Lay faithful, representatives of the government and friends joined in the celebrations. NBC Wewak, the Catholic Bishops Conference, Radio Maria and other media covered the event. The ordination was attended by nearly three thousand people from the Aitape, Nuku and Lumi deaneries, the Diocese of Vanimo and beyond. The school authorities made sure that everyone had their temperature checked.

Archbishop Fermin Sosa, in his homily, highlighted the mission of a bishop and the need to fulfil it in a faithful manner. He urged Bishop Siby to be attached and obedient to the call of God to fulfill his new mission. “Be close to God and he will give the tools necessary to carry forward your ministry of sharing His word. You are called to be the witness of God with the responsibility of invigorating our people’s faith. Share the love of Jesus with your flock ensuring that His love penetrates their hearts in every moment of their lives because salvation and new creation comes from Christ,” he emphasized. “The love of Christ empowers us to live in harmony with everyone. A bishop unites his people as one holy People of God,” he added.


Bp Siby called on the people of Aitape to commit their lives to Jesus placing Him before everything to experience the blessings of God’s love. “Putim Jesus namba wan long laip bilong yu na bihanim stretpela pasin bilong em. Taim yu putim God i go pas long laip bilong yu, plen bilong God long laip bilong yu long dispela graun bai i kamap ples klia. God i save lukim olgeta hatwok na aiwara bilong yu na ol hevi yu save karim long olgeta dei,” said the new bishop as he addressed the people.

Cardinal Ribat expressed his appreciation for Bp Siby’s ordination and implored the Diocese of Aitape to draw closer and work in union with their new bishop. ‘Mi amamas tru olsem nau yumi gat planti nupela bisop. Bilip hia long Aitape i strong tru. Strongim wok bilong sios na wok bung wantaim long halivim kantri na sios bilong yumi. Long ol narapela kantri ol i gat kainkain hevi i wok long bungim ol, na planti pipol bilong ol i no stap strong moa long mekim wok bilong sios,” he said.

Stressing the importance and need for a closer collaboration with the Church, Aitape-Lumi Member of Parliament, Patrick Pruaitch, reminded faithful gathered to be believers willing to open their hearts in working together with their new bishop to build up the Diocese. The Indonesian Consul, His Excellency Allen Simarmata, was also present for the celebration.


The Entrance Procession was led by parishioners of St Theresa, Vanimo village, with the presentation of Offertory gifts by members of the Nuku Deanery, and the Recessional by the Lumi Deanery. The choir was led by the Youth of the Diocese of Aitape. The event was coordinated by a committee under the direction of Fr. Gianni Gattei, OFM, Sr. Rosella, MFIC and the Administrator Secretary, Mr. Jack Siroi.

Bp Siby from the Congregation of Heralds of Good News was born on 6th December 1970, and entered the seminary on 3rd July 1986. He was ordained a Priest on 1st February 1995. He was the former Vicar-General of the Diocese of Vanimo.




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