Bishop: Pray for church’s growth


KUNDIAWA Catholic bishop Paul Sundu has urged Catholics to pray for the growth of the church and its works in the diocese.
He said this during a celebration last Wednesday in Denglagu parish, Gembogl, Chimbu, to acknowledge 125 years of missionary work by the Divine Word Society (SVD).
Bishop Sundu said the SVD not only brought the Gospel but basic social services in education and health to communities around the country.
“We have a big mother that feeds us, strengthens us, houses us, clothes us, and brings us closer to God through the sacraments,” he said.
“Jesus commissioned the mother, the Church to do this.
“The Church continues the work to this day.”
Bishop Sundu said the SVD missionaries had been in the country for 125 years living through a life of sacrifice and service; 88 of those years were worked in the Highlands region after establishing their first mission in Denglagu.
He said the Kundiawa diocese was commemorating the SVD jubilee as well as the feast day of the Blessed Peter ToRot, the first native martyr of East New Britain. Bishop Sundu also thanked the SVD for grooming him to be what he is today, the diocesan bishop of Kundiawa.
Speaking on behalf of Denglagu community and Kundiawa diocese, Joseph Mondia affirmed the sacrifices made by the early missionaries in coming to Chimbu.
“I thank you the SVD missionaries, both past and present for your tremendous work in changing our lives by preaching the word of God and also providing social services that went hand in hand.
“I was educated in a Catholic school, I’m a Catholic and a child of SVD,” Mondia said.
“I feel that the SVD founder St Arnold Janssen is celebrating with us today.”
A public servant Anna Joe said the SVD had contributed to the development of the country.
Families representative Agnes Peter said the work of the SVD mission had surpassed the work of other authorities and organisations.
SVD is a religious missionary organisation of men in the Catholic Church founded by a German diocesan priest, St Arnold Janssen in 1875 in Steyl, Holland.
In 1896 the SVD received from the Pope the mandate to open missions in mainland New Guinea and in the same year the first missionaries arrived.
The SVD in the country was represented by Fr Valentine Greg. The celebration unfolded with feasting of food and traditional dances.

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