Year of Faith closes. PNG family cries
By Bp. Rolando Santos CM – Alotau
Abstract from the Circular Letter of Bishop Rolando Santos CM of Alotau to the diocese on 1 November 2013
The closing of the Year of Faith comes on the 24th of November with the celebration of the solemnity of Christ the King. It is not so much a closing as an opening or entry into the door of faith, Porta Fidei, in a more committed and courageous way which leads to light, Lumen Fidei, the light that gives a promise of hope, peace, love and joy to all.
As I go around making the pastoral visit of the different parish centers and communities within the diocese, I feel deeply touched by the simple faith of the people and their desire to deepen and to live it more intensely in their lives. I am also deeply impressed by the zeal of others who reach out to share their faith to other communities and villages.
But while the faith of these simple people bring me much comfort and joy, however, I am also deeply distressed about how little still is being done so that the light of faith could penetrate and cast out the darkness that affects many people of our day. I am saddened with the difficult situation in which many families, couples, young people, and children find themselves today.
If in our towns, communities and villages there is much physical and sexual violence against women and children, this is because the light of faith has dimmed immensely within the sanctuaries of their homes. We hear of many cases of incest and rape, not counting sexual misconduct, which lead to the breakdown of good human values and creating a new silent culture of selfishness and death. These lead to the loss of peace, harmony and joy in many families and communities, as well as bring grave harm to many children who grow up in poverty, ignorance and poor health, if not aborted earlier.
At the end of the Year of Faith, it is my sincere hope that in the Church we all focus and work together on evangelizing and sanctifying the Christian family. May there be more seminars given to young people and young adults on sexuality, marriage and the family, and more celebrations of the sacrament of marriage. (www.cbcpngsi.org – firstname.lastname@example.org )