Catholic Church anniversary in Kundiawa attracts 3000 people


More than 3000 people celebrated the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Catholic Church in South Chimbu recently.
St Anne’s Parish, Dirima, of the Kundiawa Diocese in Gumine district, Chimbu, celebrated the occasion on Nov 25.
The plateau of Dirima came alive with over 3000 people coming from Koge, Yobai, Nondri and Yuri parishes to join the celebrations marking the arrival of the first missionary and the start of mission work in 1948. Fr John Labor (SVD) was the pioneer missionary who arrived at Dirima, South Chimbu, in 1948.
Bishop of Kundiawa Anton Bal, who was the main celebrant, urged Catholics in the southern deanery of Kundiawa to observe the call to make everyone disciples of Christ.
He challenged the faithful to stand firm and spread the gospel.
He also thanked the church for its work in the spiritual and social development of people.
The celebrations included a host of activities, including traditional singsings and drama.
The event was celebrated at a time when there was a need to promote unity in Gumine, especially after last year’s general election and the issues it generated.
Gumine MP and Minister for Education Nick Kuman promised to help with the maintenance work on the church building.
Cash and kind contributions were made by Aiwa Olmi, Ennio Kuble and other leaders and families and many others towards the celebrations.
Meanwhile, former diplomat Olmi was presented with a pig by the organising committee for his efforts and contributions towards the anniversary.
He was one of the pioneer students of the school that was established by the church in 1954.
He eventually became the first diplomat appointed from South Chimbu.
Another student who made political headlines was the late John Mua Nilkare.
Many others who were educated by the church have contributed towards developing South Chimbu, the province and Papua New Guinea over the years.

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