Legion of Mary 5th Regia Anniversary in the Southern Region ( July 26, 2014)
On July 25, 2014 was the feast of St James – Apostle and the Holy Rosary Parish community of Inauaia in Bereina District were into intense preparations for the memorial celebrations of Sts. Joachim and Anne as Catholic tradition presents them as the parents of Blessed Virgin Mary. From another perspective they are grandparents of Jesus from the mother's side. Their memorial celebration occurs annually on the 26th July. The names of (Joachim and Anne) are given to the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin Mary by a tradition dating back to the second century. . For us PNGs the Bubus or Pupus/Papus are great personalities as they represent the transmission of life and faith, culture and tradition, family, land and relationships with an assurance of continuity running through two consecutive generations setting the pace for future generation. We are encouraged on such occasion to remember with fond memories our great and grandparents for all that they have been to us the present and current generations...God bless our grand/great/grandparents. Sts Joachim and Anne pray for us who are brothers and sisters of your grandson and our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.
On the same occasion it was previewed for a great gathering of all the Legions of Mary from the Southern Region at Inauaia Parish. It was expected to be a great day of celebration and festival of faith especially for the members of the Legions of Mary coming from Alotau, Port Moresby, Bereina, Kerema and Daru-Kiunga. Over a 1000 visitors and pilgrims from the dioceses in the Southern Region came on truck loads and convoyed along the Hiritano Highway from Port Moresby towards Bereina.
The villages of Eboa, Iesu Baiboa and Inauaia play host to the hundreds of faithful legions of Mary. Those from Bereina were guests of Eboa village while the Kuni were hosted by the villagers of Iesu Baiboa. The great numbers of external pilgrims were equally distributed among the host chief platforms in the big village at Inauaia. It was a rather short night as the various groups presented their items of faith and entertainment to keep the entire village alive until the early hours of the morning.
The Catholic Mens’ Association were very active at the background to ensure all the visitors had a place to stay overnight in preparation for the following day’s 5th Regia Anniversary of the Southern Region.
The big rendez-vous was at 10am on the cement floor of the fallen Parish-Church under the coconuts leaves roof and supported by bamboos and sticks. The crowds immediately transformed into a praying community and a gathering of deep faith in the spirit and life of Mary. It was truly a gathering of few generations, from the great-grand parents, grandparents, parents and children so lovely to see the transmission of faith and human values and qualities taking place there and then.
The Bereina famous Roro dancers led the Bishop and concelebrating priests with ministers into the man shift church building. The atmosphere and ambiance was one of great expectation in waiting for what the Lord will communicate in through this gathering of faith-full.
In the homily, Bishop of Bereina, Rochus J.Tatamai MSC underline the scriptural basis for the famous Hail Mary Prayer as the combination of the Gospel events of the Annunciation and the Visitation in which Mary experienced her special grace and personal choice of God from all eternity to be the historical Mother of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when the angel greeted her as: “Hail full of grace the Lord is with you”. Such was further confirmed with Elizabeth’s exclamation; “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. How can this be that the Mother of My Lord comes to me?” The Church responds to these significantly historical moments with an ecclesial confession and invocation as “Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen. Many other related reflections and application for the role of women, the personal dignity of man, woman and child and the ministry of Mary as focusing and centring of Christ and His Church. Mary’s life and vocation is Christ-Centred and Church-Centred with the prayerful accompaniment of her Son’s saving ministry as spelled out in the Rosary meditations with the Joyful mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries with the beautiful and Glorious Mysteries. Each of the four mysterious from the Joyful to the Luminous, then to the Sorrowful and the climax in the Glorious underpin our human life, suffering and pain and the promise of transformation and to share in the glorious fullness of life in God who is the source, the beginning and the end of our human searching.