More than 300 Catholics from Madang’s Riwo Parish celebrated the feast of the Corpus Christi, by drawing attention to challenges they face with climate change with 3 hour procession in the sea.
Boats and canoes of various sizes made the trip from the Riwo Catholic Church to three altars set up on the reefs.
In the last five years, the Riwo community and those on surrounding islands, have become acutely aware of the effects of climate change. The parishioners departed from the edge of a sea wall built to keep the sea from washing away their church.
On the alters, they offered thanks for the sea’s bounty, and asked for blessings on the land and sea.
In Madang, the sea has been both friend and foe. Generations have been nourished by an element of nature that is now cutting islands in half, leaving people with little option but to move elsewhere.
As prayers were offered, new challenges have come to the fore. Land shortages and pressures on food security are realities the communities will have to face in future, as the sea continues its onslaught.
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