The Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination of Fr John Aneo MSC
from Bp Rochus Tatamai facebook
For the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of priestly ordination of Rev Father John Aneo MSC the people of Malom village – in the Parish of Lamasong, Central New Ireland Province, planned a 3 days celebration to give significance to the different dimensions of the one and same celebration. On 4th January, 2015 the community celebrated the first Sunday of 2015 with the Mass to remember and pray for all the faithful departed of the significant peoples who have contributed to the life of Fr John Aneo. These included his beloved dad Mr Joseph Aneo, his committed grandparents who were his foster-parents and mentors in his younger years until his novitiate. All others included his teachers, members of his clans and the ancestors and parents in the Catholic faith from his local communities in Malom and Lambuso and the parish of Lamasong.
On the second day 5th January, 2015 the community gather for celebration and prayed for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Fr Aneo was main celebrant and Fr Charles Karol, the Dean of Hoskins in Kimbe Diocese was the preacher emphasising the need for more vocations focusing on the young men and women inspired by the spirit of the celebrations to make themselves available and generous with their lives and consider seriously the call to the priesthood and religious life.
The third and final day schedule on 6th January, 2015 the focus was on the 25th priestly ordination of Fr John Aneo MSC. The day began with a lot of traditional activities and rituals. It was an occasion for the families’ reconciliations and renewal, recognition of the role of the elders and former generations and their commitment and contribution to the faith-life of the community.
The people from Leleit prepared a traditional chair decorated with taros signifying the importance of the clan and staple food of the community. They carried Fr Aneo in this decorated chair amidst traditional chants and lively singing from his house then down along the road towards the stage for the Mass. It was also a traditional symbolic walk marking the 25 long years of labouring the vineyard of the Lord. This procession actually blocked off the Blumensky Highway as the crowd sang jubilantly and danced joyously until they entered the Church grounds for the Eucharistic celebration.
The liturgy was enriched with traditional tunes, dances and processions bringing out the peoples’ full and active participation throughout the Mass. In the homily Bishop Rochus J. Tatamai MSC of Bereina Diocese traced the Lord’s guiding hand and blessings throughout the priestly ministry of Fr John Aneo. His famous composition of the “Aneo’s Mass” is popularly sung by congregations throughout dioceses and Parishes in Papua New Guinea.
After the Mass there were many exchanges of gifts and speeches, choirs and traditional dancers. Though it was a rainy morning the sun held out for the best part of the day giving God’s blessing on all who came to celebrate.