Port Moresby parish make Christmas a highlight of the Year of Faith
By Andrew Mexie - St. John the Apostle Parish (Tokarara, NCD)
26 DEC 2012. The parishioners of St. John the Apostle – Tokarara (Port Moresby) had privileged moments of faith practice during the Christmas novena this year. A special Holy Hour of Adoration was held every morning from 5:30 to 6.30 AM on 17-24 December. About fifty people participated every day with several of them arriving in the evening and sleeping at the parish pastoral centre due to security concerns. A meditation was given every morning on the theme, ‘The Journey of Discipleship - Matthew Chapter 10’ followed by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. The participants brought along their own Bible for the Holy Hour, but received handouts on the meditation.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation was given on the 18th of December to the youth, on 19th to the couples and on the 20th to the children and elderly people from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. On Friday evening 21st, after an extra Holy Hour of Adoration, the nativity crib was officially lighted. The traditional style of the Crib reminded everyone that the Christmas celebration is one of faith, not a secular and consumerist occasion.
The Christmas Vigil Mass was celebrated at 6:30 PM on the 24th. It was presided by Fr. Shanthi Puthussery PIME, Catholic Youth and Laity Coordinator for Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, in the absence of Parish Priest, Fr. Silvestre Saladaga PIME. In his homily Fr. Shanthi underlined and explained the missing elements of appropriate love, care and attention for children in today’s PNG families; and how this affects the young generations and their future leadership skills for the Church and the country. The kissing of the baby Jesus at the end of the Mass was a moving exercise.
"This year we have learned and experienced several aspects of our faith in the Christmas celebration", said parishioner Dennis Tigali. Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Kevin Kassman, also thanked Fr. Shanthi for making this year Christmas celebration part of the Year of Faith.
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