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Radio Maria can be heard on 103.5FM in the Archdiocese of Port Moresby and Diocese of Aitape, 103.5FM Wewak, 103.7FM Lae, 98.1FM Mt Hagen, 103.1FM in Mendi, 103.1 FM in Kimbe and 91.3FM in the Archdiocese of Rabaul and the South coast of Namatanai, and Duke of York Islands within the Diocese of Kavieng.

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The Mission in the Era of Media and Instant Communication

-       Nigel Akuani

Port Moresby: ‘The Mission in the Era of Media and Instant Communication’ was the theme discussed by renowned SIGNIS Pacific Region President and Caritas Fiji Director, Ms Agatha Ferei Furivai during her presentation in Day -Two of the Missiological Symposium on Wednesday 25th September, at the Catholic Theological Institute, Bomana. 

According to Mrs Furivai, the media and communication landscape is constantly changing and an adaptive approach is needed from the Church. “We need to begin to think of creative and innovative alternative media to that of mainstream – it is our responsibility.”  She noted that we are in the era of digitalization, and our media experiences are varied across Oceania.  Mrs Furivai made references to the World Communication Day messages by our Holy Father and His predecessors and proposed for the Church to make immediate access and deepen the Church’s dialogue with the contemporary world.  She quoted that, “In the new ‘computer culture’, the Church can inform the world of her beliefs explain the reasons for her stance on any given issue or event. Hear more clearly the voice of public opinion, and enter into a continuous discussion with the world around her, thus involving herself more immediately in the common search for solutions to humanity's many pressing problems.”  

Mrs Furivai added that we need to embrace these new technologies and proclaim the word of Christ as well as preach from the rooftops, transmitting our values, ideologies, gospel across the wide geographical landscapes.  She explained that the mission of the lay faithful is a relational journey of family members, parents and children, the clergy and religious and all connected in being Christ like as well as in seeing Christ in others.   That we can use the means of communication in media to amplify our voices. 

Mrs Furivai stated that our communication amongst people has significantly changed significantly in the last 20 years when she began work in Media Education in the Pacific and more so in the area of online social media platforms. We can use media to extend our Creator’s divine plan and spreading the Divine Word. The current generations have media emigrants, media babies and media natives co-existing.  While our media natives or children may have the technological know-how, the parents and grandparents, community leaders and all those engaged in the nurturing and raising of a child need to walk hand in hand with them.  They need our human connections and teachings on values, norms and expectations.    We are all media users and media producers in one way or another.  This is a good reason for a collaborative effort between Church and the Media,” she said.

“More and more people are moving away from face-to-face communication in families and communities.  The young are seen to be spending more time online and with media gadgets. This is where the multitude of people are heading, and so that is where the mission needs to go,” she urged.

The second session had a Panel Discussion on ‘Justice to Creation is Justice to Humanity’.  The panelists included His Eminence Sir Cardinal John Ribat MSC, Fr John Glynn AFSC, Paul Harricknen, Ms Marie Mondu, Mr Donatus Nahak, Dr Catherine Nongkas, and Fr Dr Joseph Vnuk OP, as the Moderator.  Their discussions dwelled on numerous matters that the Church is addressing from Evangeli Gaudium Laudato Si and the new loci of the Mission, urban poverty, professions, climate change, migrants, youth, to protection of the ocean and environment.  

The closing remarks were presented by Bp. Rochus Tatamai MSC President of CBCPNGSI.  He highlighted the symposium’s important messages discussed and the thanked everyone present for their support and participation.  

The symposium ended with a closing Eucharist celebration, led by Cardinal Ribat.  It was a special memorial service to commemorate Blessed John Mazzucconi PIME.  Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, the General Director of CBC shared a very historical and reflective journey of Blessed John Mazzucconi PIME CBC and the apostolic mission work of our early missionaries.

Installation Mass for the New Bishop of the Diocese of Bereina 

-       Nigel Akuani

Port Moresby: A heart-warming Installation Mass was held to welcome the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Bereina, Most Reverend Bp Otto Separy, on Saturday 21st September, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Bereina, Central Province.

Bp Otto, the former Bishop Ordinary of Aitape after being appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on June 9th 2009. He was announced as the new Bishop of Bereina by the Apostolic Nunciature on 16th July 2019, in Port Moresby.

Celebrating the special occasion with Bp Otto, were Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Cardinal Sir John Ribat MSC, Archbishop Douglas Young SVD, Bishop Anton Bal, Bishop Gilles Cote SMM, Bishop Rochus Tatamai MSC, Bishop Rozario Menezes SMM, Bishop Jozef Roszenski SVD, Bishop Pedro Baquero SDB, Priests and Sisters, Religious, Staff of Catholic Bishop Conference of PNGSI, officials from various Institutions and Departments, family and friends from the diocesan communities.

The Installation began with the Nuncio reading the Letter of Appointment of Bp Otto as Bishop of Bereina and showing the Letter of Appointment to the College of Consultors and the people. An acclamation by the congregation then followed.

The Bishops went to Bp Otto and offered their congratulations. Priests of the Diocese wished the Bishop and ceded obedience to their new Bishop.  A representative group of religious and laity of the diocese were also welcomed to meet and greet Bp Otto.

In his homily Bp Otto highlighted the crucial role of laity and appealed for their constant cooperation in carrying out the word of God and helping the works of the Church. “This Year is the ‘Year of the Laity’ because the Church recognizes the significant efforts the Laity makes,” he said. 

“I am your new Bishop but I cannot do it alone, and I implore you to work and support my leadership in promoting the faith and evangelization, so we can make a big difference in the Diocese of Bereina. I believe in collective ideas and collaborative efforts when working because that is what the Church is all about,” he said.

The Nuncio in his speech congratulated Bp Otto for his work in Aitape and said that he would continue praying for him and the Diocese of Bereina, its Priests, Religious, and people. 

Cardinal Ribat urged the people to work together and journey with their new Bishop, to continue building the church in the diocese. 

A gathering of over 3000 people from the surrounding communities came to witness and support this extraordinary event.  

The celebrations concluded with lunch and traditional dance performances provided by the local communities.


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