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  • Jessica Oata

Late Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus Karl Bernhard Hesse MSC farewelled in Port Moresby

Boroko, Port Moresby: A funeral program for the late Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus Karl Bernhard Hesse MSC was held at St Joseph’s Parish, Boroko on Saturday June 3rd with an angelic choir led by the Louis Couppe Choir and the Seminarians from the Catholic Theological Institute.

The rhythmic beat of the garamut and the sound of the conch shell signaled the traditional New Guinea Islands Region chieftain arrival of the casket of the late Metropolitan Archbishop into the St. Joseph’s Parish grounds.

The casket was carried into the church by the casket bearers passing through the palnapidik signifying the traditional chieftainship status of the Late Archbishop Karl Hesse MSC where they were met by his Eminence Cardinal Archbishop John Ribat MSC and the Apostolic Nuncio to PNGSI Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez. A procession was led by the Baining dancers into the church following the blessing of the casket by His Eminence Cardinal Ribat.

The procession was followed by the sprinkling of Holy Water and the placing of Christian Symbols of Faith and the Archbishop’s Eulogy read by the MSC Provincial Fr. Silvester Warwakai MSC before the mass ensued.

“The late Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse was a good shepherd who lived by his coat of arms ‘Caritas et Justitia’ till his passing. He loved our people so much that he chose to remain here after he reached retirement age.”

Some of the late Archbishop Karl Hesse’s achievements highlighted by MSC Father Provincial include; assisting many of the refugees followed by the restoration of damaged properties during the Twin Eruption of Tavurvur and Vulcan and administering the Diocese of Bougainville towards the aftermath of the Bougainville Crisis and ordaining many priests and Bishops throughout his ministry.

In his homily, Cardinal Ribat thanked God for the gift of the life of late Archbishop Karl Hesse to the church in Papua New Guinea, especially in the New Guinea Islands Region in the Archdiocese of Rabaul and the dioceses of Kavieng/Lorengau, Bougainville and Kimbe.

“It was not an easy task administering the church in these dioceses, yet he gave himself whole-heartedly trusting in God’s love, mercy and guidance. He also ordained many deacons, a number of priests and a number of bishops.

The mass concluded with tributes from the Apostolic Nuncio His Grace Monsignor Archbishop Fermin Sosa Emilio Rodriguez and Archbishop of Rabaul Rochus Tatamai MSC.

In his tribute, the Apostolic Nuncio recalled the first time he met the late Archbishop Karl Hesse in 2003 when he was appointed to PNG as the then Nuncio’s secretary.

“Today we celebrate the legacy of the late Archbishop Karl’s work, dedication and achievements and his testimony of love and commitment. We celebrate his passion to bring God to PNG.”, he said.

“He was a very humble and devoted shepherd and started out his missionary work as a Priest and then a Bishop and later became the Metropolitan Archbishop of Rabaul”

Archbishop Rochus Tatamai MSC in his tribute shared how the late Archbishop Karl chose the theme of his Coat of Arms.

“It was during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that Archbishop Karl saw an inscription on the pavement in one of the churches, it was written; ‘In charity and Justice’. It was the first time Archbishop Karl as a priest had read such a phrase and he loved it so much that he kept on thinking about it for a long time.”

“When he was appointed by St Pope Paul VI, he thought it would be a good motto to indicate the path he would follow in living his years as a Bishop.”

A Post-Funeral Mass Program was held at the St Joseph’s International Catholic College Hall where there was feasting and item presentation from each of the NGI Provincial groups to commemorate the life of the Late Archbishop Karl Bernhard Hesse MSC.

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