17/12/2012 19:45

Conversions reported in East New Britain as Year of Peter ToRot draws to a close

By Abp. Francesco Panfilo SDB – Rabaul

17 DEC 2012. On 30th December, Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Year of Blessed Peter ToRot will come to an end. The closing ceremony will be held in each parish and I have suggested that the day be celebrated as ‘Family Day’, taking advantage of the fact that all our students are at home for the Christmas holidays.

Presently, the Relics of Blessed Peter ToRot are on the mountains of the parish of Mile and they will descend to the Northern Coast, ending the pilgrimage at Ulamona (Diocese of Kimbe) on the 29th of December. After a solemn celebration there, they will be brought back to Rakunai by the people of Ulamona and the neighboring newly established parish of Bago (Archdiocese of Rabaul).

In a letter I sent to all pastoral workers of the Archdiocese on December 8, I wrote: “During the Centenary celebrations of the birth of Blessed Peter ToRot many good things have happened: families were re-united; enemies forgave each other; people who had been away from the Church and from the Sacraments were converted. Our aim was ‘Renewal of Family Life’. Only God knows how much or how little we may have achieved this goal.”

The Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, gives us the opportunity to continue the journey of renewal of family life by deepening our faith in God. The Year of Faith is meant to:

  • Help Catholics appreciate the gift of Faith;
  • Deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ;
  • Strengthen their commitment to sharing the Faith with others.

Faith is a gift that God gave us, like a little seed, on the day of our Baptism. This seed must grow; it has to become a plant and bear fruits. The family has a great duty to perform: parents, in fact, are the first teachers of the faith of their children.

As we are about to bring to a close the Year of Blessed Peter ToRot and to open the Year of Faith we can just commit ourselves to become credible witnesses, enlightened in mind and heart by the word of God, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to Our Lord Jesus Christ. (cbcpngsi.org – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)