Catholic youths visit historical site in West New Britain


Catholic youths visited the historical site where the first Catholic missionaries’ arrived in Papua New Guinea.
The visit was part of the National Youth Convention and involved 260 pilgrims visiting the site in West New Britain.
The pilgrims went to Rakunai to visit the home of Blessed Peter ToRot (1912-1945) and his grave and the basilica that is dedicated to him.
Journeying with the youths were Archbishop of Port Moresby Cardinal Sir John Ribat, president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands Rochus Tatamai, Bishop of Alotau Rolando Santos and Bishop of Kerema Pedro Bishop.
When arriving at the birthplace of Peter ToRot in Taunga, the pilgrims witnessed a customary welcome by the villagers of Rakunai.
They were then led to the cave at Vunaiara where ToRot was held prisoner and suffered for the faith.
At this special site, Tatamai explained how ToRot died.
“ToRot is a man of the soil who has lived his life of zeal and dedication,” Tatamai said.
“His proclamation of the faith and commitment to live a monogamous marriage upset the Japanese and this resulted in his death.
“The life of Peter ToRot was down to earth.
“As a child he was very humble and holy.
“His life must inspire you to pray, sing and share with others.
“Be companions on a journey and do something worthwhile with your life.”
The day concluded with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Many young people spent time in silence and prayer.
It was an ideal opportunity to reflect on their lives, pray for themselves and their future and make their peace with God.