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Monday, 24 August 2015 23:21

Lake Kopiago - Part 3 - More Blessings

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On this third installment of the pastoral visit to Saint Rupert Parish, Lake Kopiago we witness more blessings.


Firstly, the blessing of a staff house that was recently constructed for a health worker who serves as an HIV/Aids counsellor in the Aid Post operated by Catholic Health Services on the parish grounds.  

There is a regional hospital in the area of Lake Kopiago, but it is grossly under-staffed and under-supplied.  Many people prefer to come to Catholic Health Services where they received professional, compassionate care.

On this occasion, we were happy to bless a newly constructed staff house.  We gathered in front of the house with Catholic Health Services staff and many parishioners.  Sister Gaudentia presented Nurse Rosilyn with a certificate and then with the keys to the new house.  The nurse will live there together with his husband and children.

The blessing of the house followed with the appropriate prayers asking for God's blessing and protection on the house and it's occupants.  Bishop Donald then went through the house and sprinkled it with holy water.

You will notice that the house is a peculiar design.  The house is constructed of the leftovers from water tank kits that were shipped from Korea and not needed for the church.  (Three water tanks were installed for the church.)

The following morning, the large church was full of people who had come to celebrate the Holy Mass and witness the blessing of lay ministers who would help to serve the community in the absence of the parish priest.  In a place like Papua New Guinea, lay men and women who serve in various ministries are key to the evangelizing  mission of the Church.  The men and women who were blessed on this day will help to conduct para-liturgical services according to the rubrics and practice of the Church when a priest cannot be present.

After the homily, the bishop invited the seven people to come forward and commit themselves to the ministry to which they had been called.  He then prayed the prescribed blessing prayers, and presented each one with a wooden crucifix and rosary beads.

The parish will be without a priest, since Father Jerome is taking a new assignment in the Archdiocese of Madang.  There are three other parishes in the Diocese of Mendi that do not have a permanent parish priest.  We must all pray for priestly vocations... and for missionary vocations.  Until a permanent parish priest can be found and assigned, these lay men and women will help to build the Body of Christ as lay ministers.

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