Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - The young people of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands conclude the Holy Year with a gathering in which they renew their commitment to follow and to choose Christ in their lives, in the social context in which they live, in Papua and in the Pacific islands. As Fides learns, the gathering, organized by the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands at the Don Bosco Technological Institute of Port Moresby, began on November 6 and will end on November 13 and sees the participation of 330 young people from 22 dioceses. Besides bringing together various representatives of young people, the gathering will also serve to officially mark the closing of the Jubilee of Mercy in the country.
The Archbishop of Rabaul, Mgr. Francesco Panfilo, told the young people present: "The Catholic Church is fully aware of your daily challenges. Society seems to value only what gives pleasure, sex, alcohol, drugs and materialism. You choose Christ, you choose the truth, what is honest and right, choose the best for you for the nation, learning to live the true Gospel values".
Even Pope Francis sent his fatherly blessing to the youth gathered at the conference, through a letter of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, brought and read to the youth from the Apostolic Nuncio in Papua New Guinea, Mgr. Kurian Matthew Vayalumkai.
According to Fr. Shanthi Chacko Puthussery, Secretary of the Youth Commission of the Bishops Conference, the aim of the gathering is "to strengthen and empower young people to stand firm in Christian values". "The pedagogy we are using in this conference – he says to Fides - is very simple: you learn by doing" he said. In fact, in addition to catechesis, young people have the opportunity to learn from each other and to live a period of intense spiritual experience, intellectual and socio-pastoral. Among the many proposed activities, the visit to the prison of Bomana and the General Hospital in Port Moresby, a Bible quiz, commitment and direct involvement in some parishes. (PA-BN) (Agenzia Fides 09/11/2016)