Bereina (Agenzia Fides) - "Twenty years ago, in January 1995, Peter ToRot, catechist and martyr was beatified in Port Moresby. This historic event certainly gave a new dimension of enthusiasm for the life and the presence of the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea". This was stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by His Exc. Mgr. Rochus Tatamai MSC, Bishop of Bereina.
The Bishop recalls the first pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II in Papua New Guinea, in May 1984, in Port Moresby and Mount Hagen, then in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, on the occasion of the centenary of the founding of the Church in the country. That visit, he said "was only a spiritual preparation for a second, even more significant event: the beatification of Peter ToRot, which was the culmination of the work of evangelization" accomplished thanks to the contribution of the French Marist missionaries, of PIME, Comboni and SVD. "Since then, religious congregations have made a significant contribution to the evangelization and the integral development of the people of Papua New Guinea and Melanesia, particularly in the field of education, health, infrastructure and pastoral care".
"The beatification ceremony – said the Bishop - was also the moment when they gathered the fruits of a long process of collaboration and closeness with the population and the indigenous leadership. ToRot is the first Melanesian to be beatified". "The Holy Father indicated Blessed ToRot as a model of family life, and as a great Christian witness in difficult circumstances", notes the Bishop. An example that is still fundamental to the life of the local Church, "a family man, a Church leader, a person willing to give his life for God and for others". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/01/2015)