Lae parishioners urged to pray, support new bishop


THE Representative of the Pope to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Kurian Vayalunkal, has urged parishioners of the Catholic Diocese of Lae to pray for their new bishop and to support his work.
His call came during the episcopal ordination of Rev Rozario Menezes on Saturday.
Menezes, a Monfortian missionary and first Indian bishop of the diocese, was appointed on Oct 10 by Pope Francis to replace retired bishop emeritus Christian Blouin, who served as the second bishop after Henry Van Lieshout.
“Pray for the new bishop,” Vayalunkal said.
“He left his family, people and country to serve this beautiful nation.
“He has been serving in the diocese in the country, and now he has the new challenge of serving the diocese of Lae.
“As a new bishop, he has to find a new way to proclaim the gospel of Christ.
“The people of Kiunga and Morata are a witness to his work.
“It is a new and exciting moment for him to serve as bishop.”
Vayalunkal called for unity and love for the people, and spiritual and individual care of priests, to be some of the priorities of the new administrator of the diocese.
“Never ever reject anyone, love all those who are placed under your care, and be merciful,” he said.
“Fix your eyes on Jesus the Good Sheppard, and learn from him.
“The call to be a Shepard is the call to love.”
Archbishop of Port Moresby Cardinal Sir John Ribat said Menezes served at Morata, one of the notorious places in Port Moresby, for seven years.
“He (Menezes) is a good pastor,” Sir John said.
“Give him the same support that was given to the former, be united and miracles will be happening in the diocese of Lae.”
Menezes said he had been serving people in rural areas, people in settlements and the city, and was looking forward to serve the people of Lae.
“I come as a child,” he said.
“Please accept me as a son.
“Look after me and work with me, so together we can serve the Catholic Church and serve God.”