Madang (Agenzia Fides) - The General Assembly of the Church of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands opens today, November 5, in Madang (Papua New Guinea). As reported to Fides by the communications Office of the Episcopal Conference, the Assembly, until November 11, has the theme "Give me the water of life", referring to the Gospel of the Samaritan woman (John 4), and has the task of elaborating a new five-year pastoral plan. Representatives of the 19 dioceses of Papua New Guinea and three dioceses from the Solomon are attending the Assembly. To offer a more diverse representation of the face of the Church, each diocese has sent 6 participants: a bishop, a priest, a layman and three women, including a nun and a young person, for a total of about 130 participants.
As reported to Fides by Fr. Roger Purcell MSC, coordinator of the event, "the Assembly will be a moment of prayer and reflection, listening and discussion. It will focus on the key issues of the Year of Faith, the Church as 'communion', on issues such as evangelization, inculturation, justice and pastoral planning".
"The Assembly - he continues – will give directions for the future of our Church, called to be a people centered on Christ and to proclaim the Good News to the world. Our goal is for it to be an experience of faith, community and commitment. Like the Samaritan woman, we ask Jesus the water of life in order to strengthen us. We are preparing for a new era of evangelization, just as she ran to the village to tell people she had met Jesus".
From the Assembly the "Five-Year Pastoral Plan" of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands will be formulated. The plan will be presented to the Bishops during their general meeting in May, 2014, for final approval, and will then be delivered to the individual dioceses. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2013)