Participants urged to make religious commitments


THE Federation of Religious (FOR) hosted its annual general meeting in Madang last week.
With the theme ‘Melanesian Values and Consecrated Life’ the meeting was attended by 42 participants from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.
The gathering’s opening Eucharist last Monday, was presided over by Rev Kurian Matthew Vayalunkal, the Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and Solomon Islands, who spoke in line with the theme.
He invited the participants to commit themselves to the practice of religious vows together with Melanesian values.
“There could be some kind of purification of these values as it varies from person to person and cultures to clans. It receives credibility from the Gospel and religious life,” he said,
“There has to be an appropriate formation. Bishops and religious authorities need to have a good relationship with the families of the candidates and explain the priesthood and religious life to them,” the Apostolic Nuncio said.
The next two days that followed included a workshop with Fr Philip Gibbs, SVD, about ‘Melanesian values and consecrated life’.
He highlighted issues that had affected the religious climate in PNG stating reduction in missionary personnel, influence of other churches.
He invited the participants to search for cultural ways to live the religious and Gospel way of life.
Deputy Bishop for right relationships most Rev Gilles Cote, gave a session on the protocols of right relationships in ministry.
Separate meetings of the men and women religious were held on Thursday.