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  • Abigail Seta

Yumi stap laip long Krais

Diocese of Wabag welcomes 3rd Auxiliary Bishop

Sangurap: The Diocese of Wabag officially welcomed its third Auxiliary Bishop, Bp Justin Ain Soongie, in an episcopal ordination witnessed by nearly five thousand Catholic faithful and friends at the Sangurap parish on Thursday, 2nd September 2021. The celebration had as its theme ‘Yumi stap laip long Krais.’

Bp Arnold Arowae was the main celebrant and consecrator at the Episcopal Ordination. Abp. Douglas Young. Archdiocese of Mt Hagen and Bp Donald Lippert of Mendi were the co-consecrators. Present to witness this momentous occasion was His Excellency Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea. Eight other bishops and priests concelebrated at the event.

The celebration was colourful as different groups attired in their custom bilas filled the congregation. The faith filled congregation responded to the celebrant exhibiting the vibrancy of the church in the highlands. The laity team and youths of Sangurap and Sari parishes led the choir of the entire congregation in praise and song while the different groups led the different processions. Several songs were composed for the occasion.

In his homily, Bp Arnold Arowae spoke on the power to make a choice. “If our focus is Jesus the Way and the Life, then we will choose Jesus. Once the choice is made, we go out to speak and proclaim Christ”, he said, as he encouraged the new bishop.

Bp Justin Ain was escorted in by the youths of Sangurap parish. The Apostolic Nuncio read and displayed the bull prior to the Episcopal Ordination rites. The Rite of Ordination then followed, with the anointing of oil, the bishop's ring, mitre and the crosier.

The celebration concluded with speeches by the Apostolic Nuncio, Abp. Douglas Young, Paul Kurai, a faithful catholic and owner of Ribito Hotel, Margaret Kameso and Bp Justin.

A festive meal was held for the visitors and invited guests, while the parishes shared food and drink. The first mass of Bp Justin Ain Soongie was held the next day.

Coat of Arms

Auxiliary Bishop Justin Ain Soongie, Diocese of Wabag

Motto: Yumi Stap Laip long Krais (We are Alive in Christ)

1. Ambum Stone (bottom right) symbol of my cultural identity. During the pre-colonial era and/or before the arrival of the missionaries the ancestors had been offering sacrifices to this stone (Ambum Stone) which was believed to be sacred in nature. The sacrifices of pigs and possums were offered to it for the purpose of seeking blessing to the community in times of calamities and misfortunes. After the sacrificial rituals, the community indeed experienced bountiful blessings.

This shadow of the reality yet to come is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the High priest on the Cross of Calvary symbolized with the cross on the Coat of Arms.

2. The Cross and Staff – represents Jesus the High Priest and Good Shepherd. He is the fulfillment of the cultural symbol previously explained.

3. Enga Miok/Bird of Paradise – represents his belonging to the wider community of the Province and the Nation. It also represents the Holy Spirit which is often symbolized with a dove, here with the bird of paradise.

4. Chalice and host – symbolizes his primary responsibility in the administration of the Sacrament to the people of God though the theme: “YUMI STAP LAIP LONG KRAIS or We are Alive in Christ” will truly be fruitful.

5. Symbol of Mary as Queen (below left) – To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Universe, the bishop implores her support and dedicates and consecrates his life and ministry to her.

Motto: YUMI STAP LAIP LONG KRAIS. (We are Alive in Christ)

With this motto the bishop intends to carry out his ministry, that the Divine Triune God through the Church has entrusted to him. He desires to work for nothing else other than make the people of God truly alive and active in Jesus – the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Area of responsibility.

Bp Justin will be the Pastoral Coordinator for the Diocese of Wabag. He will work with the Outreach Laity Programs started in February 2021. The focus is to make Jesus and the Catholic Faith known far and wide and bring back the lost sheep.

He will also assist Bishop Arnold in His Episcopal responsibilities in the Diocese and make himself available for the needs of the wider Ecclesial community.

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