OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - PMS Australia prays for Assembly Catholic Bishops' Conferences Oceania: “a fundamental forum for the debates and strategies of the Church's mission in the region”

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sidney (Agenzia Fides) – In view of the upcoming meeting of the members of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences Oceania (FCBCO), in Sydney 10 to 14 May, the Pontifical Mission Societies Australia sent best wishes and assured prayers for this Assembly of the Bishops from over a dozen different countries who will gather at Sancta Sophia College at the University of Sydney. The Assembly, held every four years in a different country, is attended by Bishops from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Marianna Islands, Guam, Noumea, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Tahiti, with delegations from East Timor and the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The theme of this year's meeting is: “Real Issues of Oceania in the Light of God’s Word and Sacraments.”
In a statement to Fides, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies Australia, Martin Teulan, says the FCBCO “is a fundamental forum for the debates and the strategies of the mission of the Church in our region.” From the forum there emerges the voice of multiculturalism in the context of the mission to proclaim the Gospel. “Oceania has many peoples of different cultures, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Each country has its own needs and priorities to grow in the faith and meet the needs and promote the wellbeing of the people” the National Director told Fides. He added, “The PMS Australia and international, give millions of dollars every year to fund projects in Oceania according to the priorities of the local Catholic communities, which range from maintenance of school buildings, the construction of a cathedral, or a church or a home for a religious community, formation of catechists or seminarians, the publication of the Bible in Samoan, or the installation of solar panels on the island of Nissan, Bougainville.”
Speaking about the Assembly FCBCO President, Bishop Peter Ingham (of Wollongong diocese), said: “The Church in Oceania is diverse and far reaching, with different challenges in each of its own countries. We come together for this assembly to learn from and support one another as bishops and share the many gifts of our dioceses ”. The debates will be guided by spokespersons of various religious congregations and orders. (AP) (5/5/2010 Agenzia Fides)