OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Priority to the missionary formation of children

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Port Moresby – On the path of evangelization in Papua New Guinea, it is important to give priority to the formation of children: this is what emerged from a workshop organized in Port Moresby by the Pontifical Missionary Union. During this meeting, promoted in recent weeks by the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Papua New Guinea, Father Victor Roche, the participants were also able to meet, thanks to a connection on the Zoom platform, the new Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union, Father Dihn Ahn Nhue Nguyen, OFM Conv. The meeting discussed the challenges of the new evangelization in relation to the situation in Papua New Guinea. Participants took a closer look at the theme of ongoing formation in the faith for target groups such as children, young people, students and adults. The presentations and discussions highlighted the need to strengthen the pastoral care of children, launching initiatives and programs for children in the different parishes, and using the initiatives promoted by the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood .
The meeting allowed those present to elaborate project proposals, individually and in groups, and then share them with everyone. Fr. Thomas Waiaken, from the diocese of Wabag, said he had organized the “children help children” movement in his parish, teaching them to “behave like Jesus, love Jesus, pray to Jesus for other children and to do good to others, like a mission to be accomplished day by day”. This pastoral focus, he explained, has led to practical initiatives of fruitful collaboration with the local government in child protection and support for the poorest children. Simon Allis, Director of Child and Family Services for the Protection of Family Life, stressed to those present that “collaboration between civil authorities and the Church is a vital aspect of child protection and the development of society”. The meeting also served to clarify the main mission of the PMS and the role and responsibilities of the diocesan Director of the PMS. Fr Jack Pinocy, Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature, presiding over the closing Mass, exhorted all the participants “to be united in Christ, to live for Christ and to build the Church wherever you are sent”. Transmitting the message of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, Fr. Pinocy invited those present to “be faithful to the mission received, with a spirit of responsibility, because this is how we give a witness and a contribution to evangelization”. “The mission of the Pontifical Mission Societies is to bring people to Christ”, he concluded