By Fr. Shanthi Chacko Puthussery, PIME
Secretary of Commission for Youth and Laity, CBC PNG-SI
Port Moresby, PNG -- Young people from 15 dioceses of Papua New Guinea gathered at Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko from 6th to 13th November 2016 for a Youth Convention, to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The 330 people were divided into different groups to give participants a chance to interact with each other as they participated in the activities of the Convention. An hour of meditation set the tone for the day. A Gospel passage and meditation points gave every person the ability to learn about this important spiritual activity. Visiting the prisoners at Bomana Prison and the sick at the Port Moresby General Hospital highlighted ‘compassion’ in this ‘Year of Mercy’. A Bible Quiz on the Gospel of Matthew and an assignment on the Saints were opportunities to reflect and be inspired. The best reflections and assignments were awarded with prizes.
Intense moments of prayer were organized all through the convention. The ‘24 Hours Adoration Chapel’, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Inner Healing, ‘rosary prayer walks’, a pilgrimage to the cathedral and a walk through the Door of Mercy, etc., gave the participants occasions to deepen their spirituality as they prayed for needs of the young and the world.
Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Kurian Vayalunkal met the young people on several occasions during which time he spoke to them and answered questions. In his homily at the Eucharistic celebration, he highlighted the love and mercy of our heavenly Father.
An evening entertainment and a picnic to Adventure Park gave the participants an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company. A concluding mass and a delicious dinner brought the celebration to a close.
Fr. Shanthi, thanked Fr. Louie Castaneda SDB, the Rector of DBTI, Sr. Pamela Vecina FMA, Mr. Francis Banania and the staff and volunteers for venue, logistics and coordination of food. A ‘Memorial Plaque’ will be unveiled by the winning diocese in November 2017.
He expressed his gratitude to the Missionaries of the Sacred Sisters, Vunapope who prepared the bags, scarves, t-shirts and other items with the Convention logo. Sr. Caterina and the Cavani sisters, Bereina prepared the posters, booklets, certificates, image of Maria Goretti and other material for each participant. The convention mugs for prizes and cakes were prepared by Sr. Yolanda and the Sisters of San Jose, while Mr. Joel Bermudo prepared plaques for the Bishops and the resource persons. The Adoration chapel was animated by the Missionary of Charity sisters.
The cooperation and support of priests and parishioners contributed greatly to the success of the Convention. The event was also covered by Radio Maria and NBC TV. Newly arrived, Fr. Brian Nonde CMM sent in reports to Vatican Radio as well.
Several Bishops were part of the convention while the constant presence of Bp. Bernard Unabali, Diocese of Bouginville was much appreciated by the participants at the convention.