Monday, December 29, 2014

Sweet 15!

On Holy Family Sunday I had the privilege of celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Mary, Mother of God Parish in Komakul.

Fr Kris Sokol, MSF and I are walking to where the Holy Mass will be celebrated.

Father Kris Solok, MSF - a  Missionary of the Holy Family from Poland is the parish priest (pastor) of the parish.

Komakul is located in the Southern Highlands Province in the Eastern Deanery of the Diocese of Mendi.

Standing on the parish grounds, if you look one way you see Mount Gilluwe in the distance...

And if you look the other way, you see the much closer Mount Ialibu.  Thanks to our trusty local young people to make sure that we don't miss these natural wonders!  It can get rather chilly there, especially in the evenings and early mornings... But the Lord gave us a glorious day to celebrate with the good people of Mary, Mother of God Parish.

I was accompanied in the procession by two catechists, who came dressed in their traditional attire.  Meet Catechist Simon and Catechist Samuel.  Catechists are key people in the life of the church in Papua New Guinea.  In the Diocese of Mendi, there are 30 parishes or pastoral areas - and over 300 rural outstations.  There are less than 30 priests serving in the diocese.  Catechists and other lay ministers are indispensable in bringing the Good News of Jesus to the people in this remote mission diocese.

Women in traditional attire preparing for Holy Mass to begin.

 After the Mass, I had the joy of blessing an "Atrium" - that is used to present the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to children.  The Missionaries of Charity (of Blessed Mother Theresa) are spearheading this effort.  We thank Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood for their assistance in this project.

When it comes to weddings at least, the 15th anniversary is often called the Crystal Anniversary.  In any case, it was crystal clear that the people of Komakul are happy to be celebrating 15 years as a parish and will continue to be a community of love and faithful service under their patroness, Mary, the Mother of God.

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