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  • - Abigail Seta

Yumi mas sanap long Tok Tru na Laikpasin

6th Bishop of Bougainville officially installed

Hahela, Bougainville: Yumi mas sanap antap long tupela lek wanpela em tok tru na narapela laikpasin,’ Bp Dariusz Kaluza emphasized on the occasion of his Episcopal installation as the 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Bougainville.

The installation was held on Sunday, 15th November, a significant date that marked the 54th anniversary of Bougainville becoming a Catholic Diocese of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PNG-SI). The event consisted of two parts, the first began with the installation where the Eucharist celebration took place inside the parish of Our Lady of Assumption Pro Cathedral. The second part of the event had speeches, a luncheon and item presentations.

Present to witness this momentous occasion were Abp. Mathew Kurian Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to PNGSI; Cardinal Sir John Ribat MSC; Emeritus Abp. Francesco Panfilo sdb, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Bougainville; Abp. Douglas Young svd, Archbishop of Mt Hagen; Bp. Donald Lippert, Bishop of Mendi; Bp. John Bosco Auram, Bishop of Kimbe and Bp. Rozario Menezes, Bishop of Lae; priests and religious sisters. Also present was the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, His Excellency Ishmael Toroama and members of the 4th House of Representatives. Also present were representatives from the different Bougainville Christian Churches.

The occasion began with an entrance procession where Emeritus Abp. Panfilo presided over the introductory liturgical rite and proceeded to take the new bishop to the cathedral. Before entering the cathedral, a handover ceremony by the priests of the Diocese of Goroka took place to officially present Bp Dariusz to the Representatives of the Diocese of Bougainville led by caretaker, Fr Polycarp Kaviak. Bp. Dariusz was then presented with a crucifix to kiss followed by the sprinkling of holy water on himself and all those present.

At the beginning of the installation, the Nuncio read out the Apostolic Bull, the decree with which Bp Dariusz was authorized to take charge of the diocese of Bougainville. Following this, Fr. Billjohn Arienza, Diocesan chancellor, displayed the Apostolic Bull to the Cardinal, Archbishops, Bishops, College of Consultors and the congregation.

To signify his installation, Abp. Douglas and Emeritus Abp. Panfilo invited Bp. Dariusz to his chair called ‘Cathedra’ where he received the crozier and was seated as the Bishop of Bougainville. This was followed by the greeting of the bishop by the priests of the diocese and the various groups of the diocese.

Bp Dariusz, in his homily, spoke of Bougainville being the kingdom of God and urged the people of Bougainville to stand together for truth and love.

“God has his own way. He has his own agenda and schedule when it comes to choosing a person to do his work. His plan is to awaken the kingdom of God in us.”

“This day also marks the Day of the Poor by Pope Francis. Poverty has different faces. I would like to start a ministry on Sunday for the poor because I want to see them, be with them and walk with them. I want to help them to the best of my ability,” he firmly stated.

He expressed his gratitude to the members of the government, diocese, leaders in the villages and urged them to work together and share the talents God has given to them to build up the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The installation ceremony was a culturally joyous and heart-warming celebration that had the participation of the different parishes in the diocese. Many parishes and small Christian communities came together to represent the 6 deaneries of the Diocese of Bougainville. Under their deanery, the parishes participated in the liturgy with beautiful hymns and in the second part of the celebration they were involved in different dances, songs and presentations that brought together the beauty of people of Bougainville.

After the liturgical rites that were celebrated in Assumption of Our Lady Parish Church, Hahela, the program continued at the grandstand with several speeches and a tremendous table of food prepared by the local people. All of the parishes presented cultural items of song and traditional dance. Especially touching was a presentation by the youth with special needs served by Callan Services. They presented two songs which they interpreted enthusiastically in sign language. Fr Polycarp Kaviak, Caretaker of the Diocese, Abp Emeritus Francesco Panfilo sdb, Apostolic Administrator and Bp Dariusz spoke on the occasion.

During his speech, Ishmael Toroama, President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville congratulated the new bishop and spoke on peace. The installation of a new bishop is one stepping-stone to proceeding our walk to reconciliation, peace and stability in Bougainville. Today marks a special day for us and the Catholic Church in Bougainville. All the work that is done to bring peace in Bougainville has been done mostly with the help of the Catholic Church and the different denominations. My deepest congratulations to the new bishop of the diocese. God has chosen you to lead the people in the region of Bougainville,” he said.

The Apostolic Nuncio congratulated Bp Dariusz and thanked him for accepting the responsibility. He also thanked him for his dedicated service to the Diocese of Goroka for the last four years. “While you assume your mission to teach, sanctify and govern the Church of Bougainville, we pray that the Holy Spirit may help you to be a Shepherd anointed to anoint the faithful people of God, to be a shepherd with the smell of the sheep and to be a shepherd with the smile of a father,” said the Apostolic Nuncio.

An estimated 3000 catholic faithful from the 34 parishes of the diocese were part of the celebrations. 22 diocesan priests, 7 members of the Society of Mary and 1 from the Mission Society of the Philippines serve in the Diocese of Bougainville together with religious sisters and a local religious congregation. The Liturgy and the program were coordinated by Fr Biljohn Arienza and Fr Polycarp Kaviak together with a dedicated team of laity.

Bp. Dariusz served as Bishop of the Diocese of Goroka for four years until his appointment by Pope Francis to the Diocese of Bougainville on 12th September 2020. After the death of beloved Bishop Bernard Unabali last year, people were praying for a new shepherd. Their strong and unwavering faith guided them and kept them together in prayer until the day of installation of the new bishop.


“It was a great privilege for us to be here for an installation of Bp Dariusz. I was impressed by the number of Catholics taking part in the celebration. Especially when you come from Goroka where the number of Catholics is about 1,5 - 2 % of the population of EHP. Being here we have seen a real joy on the faces of the people expressed by colourful dressing, vigorous dancing and singing. Besides their joy it was easy to notice great expectation and hope that a new bishop of the diocese will help them to grow in faith and will accompany them on their journey to God.” - Fr. Adam Samsel, Priest from the Diocese of Goroka.

“I enjoyed the spiritual experience of the Installation of Bp Dariusz. The traditional food and graceful dances of Bougainville are totally different from my mission of Kimbe. Dark skinned, simple and happy the people interact very easily. It has been a totally new experience for me. I believe that with the spirit of openness Bp Dariusz will bring about many changes for the better.” – Fr Lucas Kwiatkowski ofm, Diocese of Kimbe

“My short time in Buka was an eye-opener for me to the incredible diversity and richness in peoples and their cultures in this part of the world. The next time that someone refers to Bougainville… I will no longer think of the beautiful dark colour of the people there. Rather, I will forever remember the warmth of their welcome and the rainbow hues of their deep faith, their radiant joy, their profound love of culture expressed in traditional song, dance and languages…. all illuminated by the bright tropical sun, seasoned with the salty ocean spray and painted on the canvas of the aspirations of a people determined to walk into a future shaped by their dreams and hard work.” - Bp Donald Francis Lippert, OFM Cap., Bishop of Mendi

“The celebration of the Installation of Bp Dariusz Kaluza, the 6th Bishop of Bougainville was vibrant with colour, music, song and dance. The people gave of their best and radiated joy, happiness and peace” – Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb

“It has been a wonderful time of reflection and prayer as we visited different parishes and prepared for the installation of the new Bishop. The liturgy was celebrated with a lot of good singing”. - Fr Chris Stachowiak msf, Diocese of Goroka

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