Mary Help of Christians parish, Sabama welcomes special guests
Sabama, 15 September 2023 -- The Salesian parish of Mary Help of Christians, Sabama, was filled for the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist. They were joined by special guests from MISSIO, Germany who chose Sabama, a parish in the Archdiocese of Port Moresby that lies in the heart of a violent settlement to show their concern for people on the fringes of society.
“A variety of groups of people from across Papua New Guinea have settled in Sabama. Sadly, alcohol, drugs, abuse, and the many other vices constantly rear their head”, said Abraham Kolako as he thanked the guests for choosing to celebrate their Sunday obligation at the parish.
The guests were welcomed by Fr Ambrose Pereira SDB, Parish priest, Mathew John, Abraham Kolako, Caroline Galegau and several others. They were treated to a novel welcome ceremony by the Engans. Women dressed in their traditional bilas, mud and leaves, who sang of the violent situation in Enga and implored prayers and blessings for peace in their troubled land.
The liturgical singing was harmoniously animated by St Marcella’s LKK. The prayer of the faithful was led by persons from different groups in their local language. All prayed for peace, joy, and happiness, in Papua New Guinea, in their own families of Sabama and in their own hearts.
In his homily, Fr Ambrose, challenged the congregation to be that light that will dispel the darkness of violence, vice and abuse. Reflecting on the Gospel, he invited them to correct their brothers and sisters, and be ready to forgive the one who wrongs them, so that peace, love, and unity may reign.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the guests were welcomed with the song: ‘Welcome to the Family” and garlanded with fresh flowers and leaves. They were delighted with a theatre presentation of ‘Youth in Agony’ and their cry for someone to reach out to help them. A life without meaning, a Letter to God, a life without Love and a life filled with addiction were some of the issues that the young people of St Marcela’s LKK (Lik Lik Komuniti) presented. The confident and emotional rendering of the issues stated, brought tears to most eyes, and moved the hearts of all in the audience.
Mr. Gregor von Fürstenberg, Vice President of MISSIO congratulated the young people for their very impressive theatre presentation. “While we do not have answers to the questions posed, if you take your life in your hands, God will be with you”, he said. He then announced that the beautiful country of Papua New Guinea with be Germany’s focus for World Mission Sunday 2024. The campaign will dwell on 2 specific issues: i.e.., Environment and the empowerment of women in the Catholic Church. The other members were Mr. Frank Kraus, Head of the Foreign Department, Mr. Johannes Seibel, Head of the Press Department, Ms Ayline Plachta, in charge of the World Mission Sunday Campaign and Ms Anne Knoerzer, Oceania & Asia Desk.
The parishioners thanked their special guests for joining them at a prayerful eucharistic celebration and a very reflective presentation and wished them all success in their weeks in Papua New Guinea and in Solomon Islands.
Later in the afternoon, the parish was visited by Fr Gilbert Pano sdb and a group of literacy animators from Mary Help of Christians Araimiri.