- Abigail Seta
The Holy Trinity Cathedral consecrated by Cardinal Tagle
Rebiamul, WHP: His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization consecrated the newly built Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen, a symbol of unity, prayer, and the sacraments.
The cathedral was consecrated on Tuesday, 4th October 2022, at Rebiamul, Mt Hagen.
Present to witness this momentous occasion were Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, His Excellency Most Reverend Fermín Emilio Sosa Rodriguez together with Archbishop of Port Moresby, Cardinal Sir John Ribat; Archbishop of Mt Hagen, Douglas Young SVD and Archbishop of Madang and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI, Anton Bal and Archbishop of Rabaul, Rochus Tatamai msc. Also present were 17 bishops from PNG and SI, priests, religious sisters and brothers and guests from all over the country. The governor of Western Highlands Province, Wai Rapa and business representatives also attended the occasion.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle spoke on the significance of building a Church as he reflected on the readings of the day.
“We have built a church. What does that mean? What does it mean to build a Church? We have three readings for today and all of them are teaching us about the significance of building a church. Look at the church, it is a beautiful church but how do we build a beautiful church?” he challenged the thousands that were gathered for the celebration.
“A beautiful house should not be left empty. The beauty of this house is more pronounced when the children of God are in it. St Peter talks about the community, the church. I think this building, the church, will last for 500 years or maybe more but how about the community? How long will we last? How will we build a community over and over again?”
“St Peter says come to Jesus who is the cornerstone, and we are the living stones. We should not be dead stones. The community called the church is a living body. The people of God, the body of Christ, the pentacle of the spirit and each one of us is a stone but we should be a living stone,” stated the Cardinal.
The eucharist celebration consisted of five rites of dedication which began with the procession of the bishops to the cathedral led by the Sinsibai parish in Hagen and parishioners from Madang. This was followed by the handing over of the building at the threshold where the architect, Mr John O’Brien handed over the drawings. The doors to the cathedral were then opened by the descendants of the Big Men who first welcomed the missionaries to Mount Hagen. The procession was led by a Madang singsing group, many of whom were descendants of the carriers and catechists who accompanied the missionaries on their first patrol to Mt Hagen.
The Cardinal blessed water and sprinkled it on the people to signify repentance and a reminder of their baptism and to purify the walls and altar of the church.
The eucharist continued with the prayer of dedication and the anointing of the altar and columns of the church. The altar was then incensed.
The congregation outside were amazed by a flaming circle that appeared in the sky just over the cathedral. They raised their voices in glory, and thanked God for his presence and blessings.
26 parishes in the Archdiocese participated in the occasion bringing food and cultural dances to commemorate the new cathedral. According to a report by Trinity FM, the Archdiocesan radio station, the Cathedral has been a dream for many years.
There were two major phases of construction. Phase one was getting the building on the ground. Setting the foundation, the frames, roof, the slabs, and the walls. These were completed in 2018. The second phase was the completion of the inner works of the cathedral.
“It took eight years to get to this stage where we have now witnessed its consecration, since the initial ground-breaking ceremony on September 04th, 2014.”
Speaking of the cost, Abp Douglas said that the archdiocese budgeted for about K15 million, but at this stage, the total cost of the whole project is not known as there are works yet to be done.
“As it is now, we are happy that we have a better infrastructure, a more suitable venue for worship. There are other things that are needed. We appreciate the work done and we are looking forward to working together to get it fully completed and to the stage and level we want,” he said.
The celebrations concluded with a grand agape and entertainment.