Port Moresby (Fides Service) - Almost one thousand Catholics from the Diocese of Alotau commemorated the 150th anniversary of the death of Blessed martyr John Mazzucconi at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Sunday, 25 September, 2005 during a solemn Mass presided by papal Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana.
Ahead of the event, the diocesan preparatory committee sent out novenas, booklets and prayer cards to each parish to help the faithful understand the importance of the Martyrdom of Blessed John Mazzucconi for the Church in Milne Bay. Among the guests were United Church Ministers, Reverend Wilson Isaac and Dago Walino, Senior Provincial High School Inspector, Mr. Michael Ova, Alotau emeritus Bishop Desmond Moore, MSC and Bishops from Mt. Hagen, Vanimo, Bougainville and Honiara. Also present was Goroka Bishop Francesco Sarego SVD, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Fr. Gianbattista Zanchi, PIME General Superior, Seminarians, Priests, Brothers, Sisters mostly from the Diocese of Alotau.
The first missionaries arrived in Papua from Solomon Islands in 1847. In his homily, the papal explained that Papuan Catholics are the spiritual sons and daughters Blessed John Mazzucconi who taught that our hope stands eternal in Christ, and he urged them to continue to work of Blessed John, announce the Good News and walk the way of Christ, tell his truth and living his life.” PA (Fides Service 11/10/2005) lines 20 words 254)