Rousing welcome to Cardinal Parolin
Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
Port Moresby:‘Gut moning long yupela olgeta,’ said Cardinal Pietro Parolin to a rousing welcome as he greeted the people this morning at the Jackson International Airport. He spoke of his joy at being able to be amongst the people of Papua New Guinea. “I come as Secretary of State of His Holiness Pope Francis and I know that your welcome is also a sign of your affection for him. The Holy Father asked me to assure you of his closeness and of his prayers for your country. Let us hope we can share in these days a good experience of the love of God.”
Cardinal Parolin was welcomed by Archbishop KurianMathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and SI and Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby as he disembarked from the aircraft at 6.15am, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Bishop Rochus Tatamai MSC, President of CBC PNGSI and Bishop of Bereina, Fr Victor Roche svd, General Secretary of CBC PNGSI, Bishop Charles Drennan, Palmerston North, NZL, Mr. James Van Schie, Executive Secretary NZCBC, Bp Anton Bal, Bishop of Kundiawa, PNG, Msgr. Josef Sayer, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb and several others welcomed the Cardinal who was accompanied by Msgr. Seamus Patrick Horgan.
Professor Ottar Georg Edenhofer, one of the speakers for the Assembly arrived on the same flight.
Despite the rain, over 300 people, religious and lay faithful made their way to the airport to welcome the Secretary of State in the early hours of the morning. Fr. Victor welcomed the cardinal for the FCBCO Assembly at which he will be the keynote speaker.
Gifts of betel-nut, and a live chicken were presented to him by Papuan dancers group from the St. Charles Lwauga parish.
The FCBCO conference will have the presence of 72 bishops from the four different Conferences to meet and discuss issues that are of importance to Oceania and the region.
The Cardinal also visits Papua New Guinea to meet and celebrate with the religious and the lay faithful. Their joyful and enthusiastic presence filled him with immense joy and gratitude. The Cardinal will celebrate the Opening Mass at Caritas Secondary School on the 12th April at 4pm.
A mass for the religious will be celebrated at St Joseph’s Parish on the 13thApril at 2.30pm. A mass and conference for the laity will be celebrated at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Boroko on 14thApril at 7.30am. The Cardinal returns to Rome later that day.