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  • Isabella Saleu and Jessica Oata

One Family in Christ

The Diocese of Kundiawawelcomes its 4th Bishop and highlights: ‘Yumi wanpela femili, i stap laip insait long Bodi bilong Krais’

- Photographs: Fr Ambrose Pereira, Isabella Saleu and Jessica Oata

Kundiawa, Chimbu: The people of Simbu Province gathered as one family in Christ to celebrate and witness the ordination of the 4th Catholic Bishop of Kundiawa, Bp Paul Sundu.

The ordination was held at the Mary Help of Christians Cathedral, Kundiawa, on Saturday July 3rd, 2021 where Bishop Paul Sundu chose his theme as: ‘Yumi wanpela femili, i stap laip insait long Bodi bilong Krais.’ At least three thousand people filled the grounds surrounding the Cathedral despite the heat.

Present for the celebration were Cardinal John Ribat, 11 bishops, Fr. Jacek Pinocy, Charge de affairs, priests, religious, lay faithful, government officials, people from the highlands region and other parts of the country.

Leading the Archbishops, bishops and priests at the entrance procession were the women of the Legion of Mary from Denglagu Parish all dressed in red and white. The Administrator of the Diocese of Kundiawa, Fr Ryszard Wajada SVD welcomed the congregation at the start of the celebration and invited all to pray for the new bishop.

The main celebrant and principal consecrator was Archbishop Douglas Young, Archbishop of Mt Hagen. Abp Anton Bal, Archbishop of Madang and Bp Donald Lippert, Bishop of Mendi were the co consecrators.

The Bible procession was led by the parishioners from Sts Peter and Paul Parish, Goglme, accompanied by a very melodious choir and graceful dancing as the Bible was held aloft.

In his homily, Archbishop Douglas Young touched specifically on the history of Christianity in the highlands highlighting persons who have been prominent in evangelisation and the spread of the Gospel. He stressed on the need for self-reliance, family life and unity.

Self-reliance is built on the same spirit of sacrifice today in this generation as was shown by the pioneer missionaries”, he said.

He urged the people to be deeply rooted in their faith and share the good news. They now have a local Bishop, whom they can relate to and be proud. He is a product of the faith of the missionaries who lost their lives.

He spoke about the hardships of a Bishop and invited Bp Paul Sundu, to be a man of God and carry out his responsibilities and lead his flock as a Good Shepherd.

“Faith makes us one family in the body of Christ”, he said. He highlighted Family Life saying that it is in the family that a child learns good Christians values that they will carry on for the rest of their lives.

Addressing the new Bishop, he stressed the need for unity within the Diocese and the Country. “You are not just the Bishop of Kundiawa, you are the Bishop of the people of the Highlands region, you are the Bishop of the coastal people and the people of Papua New Guinea”, said Archbishop Young.

The Rite of Ordination was a joyous moment. The Apostolic Bull was read by Fr. Jacek Pinocy, as a representative from the Holy See. He held it aloft to the thunderous clapping of the congregation. Then followed the solemn singing of the litany of saints, ordination and the laying of hands.

Garden produce thanking the Lord for the gift of the fruits of the land were brought in by the parishioners from St Michael the Archangel parish, Koge and accepted by Bp Paul at the offertory procession. The liturgy of the Eucharist was then led by the newly ordained Bp. Paul Sundu.

Speeches followed by representatives of the different groups of people. The recessional procession led by the father’s group from the Negeraima Parish escorted the new bishop into the cathedral. He then took his seat on the ‘cathedra’. The new Bishop then prayed and imparted his blessing on those who came to the new shepherd of the Kundiawa Diocese.

The guests and religious were then treated to a very hearty meal of local produce as lunch.

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