Archbishop: Church needs good priests, not many priests


THE church needs good priests and not many priests, Archbishop Francesco Panfilo said at the ordination of Fr Joseph Liaia on Feb 22 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Vunapope, East New Britain.
Archbishop Francesco ordained Deacon Joseph a priest before a crowd of family, friends and guests.
The Passionists Provincial Superior Fr Tom McDonough welcomed Fr Joseph to the fraternity as the first Passionist priest from ENB.
Fr Joseph also becomes the fourth Papua New Guinean priest of the passionists order.
Fr Joseph, 31, was born to Camillus and Julie Liaia, is the eighth born of 11 children. His father passed on in 2017.
It was an emotional moment for Fr Joseph.
The ordination was on the Feast Day of St Peter’s Chair (Matt 16:13-19).
Archbishop Francesco asked of the new priest three things.
Firstly, God’s word belongs to God, to be taught and received by God’s people as their food and nourishment.
Priests must be holy and taste sweet to God’s people by example.
As a priest he must read the word of God with a clear mind, believe what he reads and teach what he believes and practice what he preaches.
Secondly, when celebrating the sacraments for the people always give praise and thanksgiving with joy.
“Today you will begin saying the words of consecration,” Archbishop Francesco said.
“Your hands will hold the body and blood of Christ, celebrate Mass each day with joy and good spirit as you will do in your first Mass.”
Thirdly, when doing your ministry of Christ you should work hard to bring people together as one family, and lead them to Christ in the Holy Spirit.
“Follow Christ himself as the good shepherd who came not to be served but to serve and to take back the lost.
Archbishop Francesco stressed that “the Church needs good priests, not many priests”.
Speaking on the holiness of priests Archbishop Francesco urged Fr Joseph to pray the rosary each day so that the Mother of Jesus could also pray for him to do his work.
Fr Joseph held his first Mass in his home village of Napapar 5 at St Anthony’s church on Sunday (Feb 23) with three deacons and six other priests.
It was an emotional moment for himself, his family and the village community to have the first Passionist priest in their family and the community.
Fr Joseph becomes the eighth priest of the St Joseph’s Napapar community.

One thought on “Archbishop: Church needs good priests, not many priests

  • Congratulations FR Joseph. God bless you and the people you will serve. St Joseph’s Feast tomorrow. He will bless you too. Sister Kathleen sm. (Back in New Zealand after being in the Bereina Diocese.)

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