Christmas is a period for peaceful family gatherings and reunions, says Fr Roche

By Eric Haurupma – EM TV, Port Moresby

The director of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference (CBC), Fr. Victor Roche, has encouraged Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to act responsibly during festive celebrations.

“Christmas is a period for peaceful family gatherings and reunions and Papua New Guinea’s must never forget that it signifies the birth of Christ.”  

He said families are obliged to attend church services rather than just part taking in alcohol-related activities that could lead to trouble.

During CBC’s 2014 final mass to commemorate the services of the Catholic Church to the people of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Fr. Roche said people should acknowledge Christ as the sole reason for all the celebrations.

He added that to celebrate peacefully, parents must advise their children to avoid alcohol during Christmas and New Year.

Alcohol consumption is increasing in Papua New Guinea and tragically, in the lead up to the festive season several deaths that have occurred throughout the country have all been alcohol-related.

Port Moresby has seen a surge of drink-driving accidents along major city roads and in the nation’s industrial hub of Lae City; several people were killed during alcohol-related brawls.

An employee of CBC, Mary Martin reiterated that the festive season was a period for peaceful family reunions and gatherings.

Christian Education Coordinator, Sister Mary McCarthy said people drinking during festive celebrations must drink responsibly and avoid getting into trouble. 

Like other festive celebrations for corporate organisations, government agencies, schools and business houses, CBC ended the year with a memorable gathering which saw the exchange of Christmas gifts amongst staff members.


Eric Haurupma is a UPNG Journalism student.

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