Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Earthshaking Ground-breaking

A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered in Mendi to witness the blessing and ground-breaking for the new residence for Diocesan priests.  It was a beautiful celebration of faith and culture in this remote, mountain diocese of Papua New Guinea.  It is a strong witness of trust in God’s generosity and Providence and a challenge for the Catholic community of the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces of PNG (and beyond) to respond to God’s constant call to build-up the Kingdom of love among all peoples.  The project is made possible with the help of the Capuchin Mission Office in Pittsburgh, PA  USA.  We pray daily for our benefactors who through their generosity and sacrifice are helping to make this dream come true.  “If the Lord does not build the vain do its builders labor.” (Ps 127)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mission Sunday in Mendi

Today the Church celebrates Mission Sunday.  As you might imagine, in a traditional 'mission' country this takes on a special significance.  Today, in the Cathedral of Mary, Mother of the Good Shepherd, we also celebrated the commissioning of catechists... Men and women who carry the Good News of Jesus to every corner of the diocese.  The Diocese of Mendi has 33 parishes and almost 350 rural outstations.  If you consider that there are only 32 priests and only one bishop, you can see how important is the ministry of these (and other) lay men and women who take their baptismal call seriously.  Every Catholic, by his or her baptism is commissioned as a missionary, sharing in the very mission of Jesus Christ.  Jesus counts on all of us to do our part to spread the Good News of His love and salvation for all people.  We all have a part to play.  Next time you look in the mirror you can say: "Hey, there's a missionary!" As you can imagine, being a missionary in this day and age is not easy.  But we are not alone.  In Confirmation, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit who helps us be faithful to our mission.  And in the Holy Eucharist, we have food to strengthen us for this important work.  God bless our new catechists - and help us not to be afraid to take our part in the mission of your Son Jesus, with the help of the Spirit of Love.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mama María

In the Catholic world, the month of October is traditionally dedicated to renewed devotion to praying the rosary.  The rosary is a contemplative prayer that helps us to focus on the mysteries of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus - as well as Mary's singular role in life of Jesus and in our life too.
During this month, the faithful of the mission station here in Mendi are processing with the image of Mary around the families of the area and spending time praying the rosary and reflecting on the Scriptures.  Yesterday, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the group came to the Bishop's House... undaunted by the usual Mendi afternoon rain.  The Catholics of Papua New Guinea love Mary and accept her into their homes as did Saint John the Apostle - at the request of Jesus Himself.  They know, as we all know, that Mary is our Mother, but she is also the first and best disciple of her Son, Jesus - and can help us come close to Him and to follow in His footsteps.

Gracias a todos mis amigos de habla española.  Aprecio muchos sus comentarios y su apoyo.

María ven, llévame de la mano a Jesús.  Enseñame a amarle, cómo lo amaste tú.