By KEVIN PAMBA
PAPUA NEW GUINEA faces many challenges going forward and it needs every citizen to aim to right the wrongs and do better for the country. If Papua New Guineans cannot take responsibility individually and collectively to do right for their country at every level at all times, they cannot blame anyone else. This sentiment reverberated across a packed St John Paul II Community Centre of Divine Word University’s Madang campus on Friday 21th of October.
The occasion was the 8th annual Missioning Ceremony for final year fulltime students.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry, David Conn, in his keynote address reminded the outgoing students to advocate for positive change for PNG. He said this is because DWU students were grounded in strong ethical and Christian principles and values during their study period in the University that gave them the “head start” to do it.
“Do not be part of the problem, but be part of the solution,” Conn reminded the students.
Conn told the students that completing a degree in DWU gave them the “head start” to do better in life because of the University’s Christian standing and the values it imparts to them.
“By being at DWU you are already blessed,” he said.
He urged them to think about their role in life and society and not to delay in making a meaningful contribution to their families, communities and country.
Conn said PNG faces so many problems and required the younger generation of its citizens like the DWU students to put it back on the right path. The students were each presented with mini DWU crosses as a reminder of the teachings of Jesus Christ the “Divine Word” which must be the guide in their individual journeys and mark of their maturity to enter society as products of the
“Let the cross be your moral compass,” DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou said to the students.
“The DWU Cross you receive today should remind you of the Cross that the Divine Word – the Lord Jesus Christ carried for us.
“He too, walked through life’s challenges.
“His journey on earth teaches us many things, many great things about people and God.
She reminded students that as they are about to journey into the world as adults to not only carry with them the skills they learnt in the classroom but also take with them ethical and Christian values.
“Remember that the supreme end of education is expert judgment in all things: the power to tell the good from the bad, the real from the imitation, and to prefer the good and the authentic to the bad and the corrupt,” Prof Nembou said.
She said DWU has done its part to prepare the students, who, from being young teenagers when they entered university for the first time, to now moving onto adulthood and the University was proud to contribute to their growth and development.
“The missioning ceremony marks the end of teenager and the beginning of adult life.
“The transition from teenager to adult is a continuous learning experience,” Prof Nembou said.
Professor Nembou said the Missioning Ceremony held in each of the DWU campuses at their appointed dates is the first part of the graduation ceremony.
The Missioning Ceremony is seen as the spiritual side of the DWU graduation ceremony. Spokesman for parents and well-known PNG Gospel musician, Max Manimbi, spoke highly of the University’s contribution to the development of young people. Manimbi, from Yangoru in East Sepik, said parents were proud to send their children to school there because of the transformation they see in their children. Manimbi is a graduate of Divine Word University and its predecessor Divine Word Institute where he did matriculation studies, followed by Diploma in Business Studies, Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Master of Leadership in Business Management. His son, Max Manimbi Jr, participated in the Missioning Ceremony as an outgoing Bachelor of Business (Accounting) student.
The Missioning Ceremony began with a Eucharist Celebration led by Bishop Jozef Roszynski SVD of Wewak Catholic Diocese who is also a member of the DWU Council. The ceremony was witnessed by some parents, University staff, continuing students and members of the DWU’s founding Catholic congregations – the Divine Word Missionaries and Holy Spirit Sisters.
By KEVIN PAMBA