Radio and Television services for Papua New Guinea “The Voice of Peter ToRot – “Y”Our Daily Spiritual Companion”
By Bishop Rochus Tatamai MSC – Diocese of Bereina
Bishop Rochus, what inspired you to start new radio and television services in Papua New Guinea and call them The Voice of Peter ToRot?
On 17th January 1995, Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Beatification of Blessed Peter ToRot in Port Moresby brought to light the significance and indispensible importance of the collaboration between our people as Papua New Guineans with the missionaries through direct evangelization as well as the delivery of basic goods and social services. Through the work and influence of the mass media, especially radio and television, and now with more possibilities of the internet and social networking, we would like to continue this witness through concrete ways and means in the promotion of this commitment and on-going collaboration for the well being of everyone.
Where are you broadcasting now?
“Voice of Peter ToRot – “Y”Our Daily Spiritual Companion” broadcasts in Kerema (94.30FM), Vunapope (88.10FM), Malmaluan (91.30FM), Bereina (88.50FM), Lorengau (105.10FM) and we are considering Port Moresby in the near future. It’s a truly homegrown initiative in Papua New Guinea for the encouragement and benefit of all the listeners and viewers.
What is your message focusing on?
First let me say that The Voice of Peter ToRot, inclusive of all the above stations, is open and committed to the cooperation and collaboration with other mainline Churches for the promotion of unity and ecumenical dialogue. Through the Voice of Peter ToRot in radio and television, we as PNG citizens, bishops, clergy, religious and laity are committed to the promotion of servant leadership, responsible parenthood, voluntary outreach and promotion of human values through social services in health and education as inspired by the model of the life, work and martyrdom of blessed Peter ToRot. You can read also these objectives in our websites www.catholicpng.org.pg or www.voiceoftorot.com and watch video clips on www.torot.tv .These initiatives are very popular with our friends and Papua New Guineans who are living, working and studying overseas.
What about the family?
The commitment and the promotion of Blessed Peter ToRot as a Papua New Guinean, even a Melanesian, is a yardstick for quality leadership in family life and community as an inspirational leader, a role model for PNG men and women, his spirituality of caring for the sick, the orphans, the widows and the children. He promoted the holiness of family life and witnessed to the importance of fidelity and permanency in married life through the sacrament of marriage. He can even be referred to as the “Martyr for the Sacrament of Marriage and Family Life.”
Are you also trying to promote the person of Peter ToRot himself?
We are committed to the promotion of the canonization of Peter ToRot. We want him to be declared a saint, meaning that Peter ToRot as a Papua New Guinean layman is universally recognized and acknowledged throughout the whole Church as an outstanding Papua New Guinean, committed to the well being of his people, and that he lived to promote the common good and well being for everyone, even to laying down his life for his faith and Christian conviction.
The television field is demanding in terms of professionalism and costly as far as production is concerned. What are you actually able to achieve given the technical and logistic limitations of Papua New Guinea?
Through the television section of Voice of Peter ToRot we are committed to providing TV programs for Kundu2 (National Television Service of PNG) as well as researching and producing relevant documentaries that capture and promote human values as inspired by the Melanesian traditions and culture and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are very grateful to the mutual collaboration with NBC and Kundu2 because of our primary commitment to the citizens of this country especially the rural majority. We believe we have an inspirational life-story to tell the world and so we continue to tell the life story of Peter ToRot from different perspectives as relevant and applicable to our people today.
What is our aim at the moment?
On the occasion of the centenary of the Birth year of Blessed Peter ToRot (1912 – 2012) we would like to further strengthen and focus the “Voice of Peter ToRot – “Y”Our Daily Spiritual Companion” amongst the citizens of PNG and all people of good will as a vote of confidence in the dignity and vocation of our Laity within the Catholic Church in PNG. Blessed Peter ToRot is a shining beacon and a daily reminder to everyone, to all the faithful that we are all called to holiness and saintly lives from within our various states of life, whether we be single, married couples with families or in priestly or religious life.
Finally we’ll strive to present the Peter ToRot, his life, ministry and vocation, witness and martyrdom as the Voice that needs to be heard clearly and afresh by our laity and youth who are the majority of our population because of its relevance and applicability to our situation today. We desperately need national heroes and heroines, role models, someone we can all relate to and yet can challenge and inspire us as Melanesians and Christians to transform our society where people respect the dignity and integrity of each other. Blessed Peter ToRot continues to be the Voice that “cries out in the wilderness of our modern PNG.