Water ritual marks start of church meet

National, Normal

The National, Friday November 8th, 2013

 THE Papua New Guinea Catholic Church’s General Assembly began in Madang yesterday with a meaningful water ceremony.

Participants from PNG and the Solomon Islands, who are meeting at Divine Word University, brought water from their dioceses and combined it in a large traditional Madang clay pot.

Containers of bamboo, clay and wood contained water that came from creeks as far away as the Auki diocese in the Solomon Islands and the highlands and coastal areas of PNG.

As participants poured the water into a large Madang clay pot, they prayed for the people in their dioceses whose lives were sustained by the water. 

They prayed that the combining of the water would renew their faith and strengthen them to evangelise to the people in their dioceses.

The ceremony marked the opening of a week of discussions by bishops, priests, religious and lay people about issues that are facing the church today. 

Topics to be discussed include the increasing poverty, lack of education and health services, family life and religious life, and the empowerment of the laity in the work of the church. 

Violence in society, especially against women and children, corruption and unequal distribution of wealth, crime and drug abuse, sorcery and preservation of the environment are some of the issues that will be discussed.