24/01/2017 08:52

Vatican Museum and PNG Culture

There's more to St Peter's Basilica and Square as I discovered this afternoon all by chance or coincidence maybe even divine Providence because I didn't least expect to find in that truly I was home back in PNG even while being inside the vast and enormously decorated and highly profile Vatican Museum. Our own ancient people in PNG back in the early infancy years of evangelization had responded positively and even enthusiastically to the call of the pioneer Missionaries be they MSCs, SVDs or SMs as these were the earlier ones covering the most popular known traditional missionary territories of the Sacred Heart, Divine Word and Marists as those of us older enough to remember and even were part of that missionary consciousness in its process, making and presence of such a reality. Well to my luck and even to my advantage and privilege that I was brought into the Vatican Museum in and through a special opportunity and occasion to witness a reality I never dreamt of or expected. By a special invitation I came to the door of the Vatican Museum and by special privilege passed by aside door reserved for Vatican officials only...wissed through by a side step into the Pope's lift/elevator(now a museum piece) used by Pope Pius IX and within few seconds I was freely walking around few more barriers down into the hall for Asia and Oceania exhibitions but the whole section is referred to as the "Non European Arts"...yet again within seconds I was confronted with prestigious gifts reserved for presentations to the Popes by PNG tribes and cultures...such was a moving an emotional stunt as the simple fact remains that agreements were made by the local tribes with the Missionaries consenting to make a gift-presentation to the Pope at those given times as an acknowledgement that we're part of and members of the Universal...Catholic Church of Jesus Christ. So we have cultural gifts from Central Province...the Diocese of Bereina(Yule Island), Rabaul (includive of NIP and Manus), Bougainville (AROB), MOMASE especially East and West Sepik. Here one can see clearly how our fore fathers and mothers, uncles and aunties were much much more advance in their strive to be truly counted and valued as distinguished members of the Catholic Church the mystical Body of Christ. So to my pleasant surprise and overwhelm spurs I was introduced to encounted my true ancestors both in culture and faith...the work of art and expression of rich cultural heritage and traditional values from the Southern Region, MOMASE and NGI spilling over to the neighborhood of the Solomon Islands. Long live Christ in the rich cultures of our Melanesian PNG people.