Church farewells priest


A church leader has urged Catholic professionals in the country to become defenders of truth, morals and justice.
Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and Solomon Islands, during a farewell Eucharist celebration for Fr Rozario Menezes in Port Moresby last Friday, said Catholic professionals should not be indifferent to the socio-political issues.
“Where truth, morals and justice are discarded, there the society becomes weak and sick. In that situation, you as Catholic professionals, must show courage to come out like John the Baptist, with a prophetic voice,” he said.
“We need to participate for the common good.
“Sometimes we hear that a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true; good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves.
“We do participate in the common good and we are involved very much in the social life. But sometimes this involvement is not reflected in a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors.
“It often remains tied to tasks within the church, without a real commitment to applying the Gospel to the transformation of society,” he said.
Vayalunkal said it was up to Catholic professionals to analyse with objectivity situations which affect the church and the country.
“People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens,” he said.
The Catholic Professionals Society of Papua New Guinea organised the farewell Eucharist celebration for Menezes which was held at the St Martin De Porres Parish in Morata.
Menezes had been the spiritual director for the Catholic Professionals Society Papua New Guinea for the last four years.
He will be leaving after almost 18 years in PNG to take up his new post with his Montfort Order in Rome, Italy.
Fr Victor Roche, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands also attended the celebrations along with the religious communities representatives, members of the Catholic Professional Society and other lay people from Morata and other parishes.
According to the society president Paul Harricknen, the Eucharist celebration was in honour of Menzes to say thank you and farewell not only for the fact that he was the spiritual director for the society but because he was a friend and spiritual companion to many people.
Menzes is known for his personal touch on the lives of so many during his years of ordained ministry in Papua New Guinea.

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