The Catholic Church is celebrating 50 years since the establishment of the dioceses, in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop, Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, while presiding over the Holy Eucharist in Port Moresby on Sunday September 25, thanked the faithful for keeping their faith alive and for strengthening evangelisation.
The celebration also coincided with the thanksgiving of the canonization of Saint Theresa of Calcutta.
Close to a thousand Catholic faithfuls joined the bishops from 22 dioceses in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee at the DBTI Shrine.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop, Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, also made his public appearance; in an interview with General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Victor Roche, said that people were the focus of the 50 years celebration.
“We thank the faithful for continuing the works of evangelisation,” he said.
Fifty years marks the foundation of faith and growth of evangelisation in both countries.
Archbishop of the Rabaul Archdiocese, Francesco Panfilo, said evangelisation was the core of the diocese pastoral plan which the religious and the laity must be committed to build the Christian community.
“The first contact of the early Missionaries was to Woodlark Island in the Milne Bay Province and was the Marist, who made the attempt in 1847. From there many more missionaries came to help build the church,”
“I also want to thank the locals, who became catechists, for their work in evangelisation,” Archbishop Francesco said.
Archbishop of the Port Moresby Catholic Archdiocese, Sir John Ribat, said that ecumenism has united all mainline churches together which is a beauty.
The early missionaries were also thanked for bringing the Good News to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.