LAY leaders from all the parishes and pastoral areas of the Catholic Diocese of Mendi have come together for the annual meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
They were convoked by the bishop and joined by representatives of consecrated religious and the heads of the various diocesan secretariats to evaluate social conditions and pastoral practice of the past year and set the agenda for 2016.
Each member had the opportunity to give a brief situation report of their parish community, then ideas were offered regarding the observance of the Jubilee of Mercy and the Golden Jubilee of the diocese. Many creative ideas were shared.
The final part of the four-day meeting was a consideration of various agenda points raised by the members. Members of the Renewal Team led a discussion of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan 2016-2021, which will guide the pastoral practice of the diocese for the next five years.
Other agenda items include discussion on the diocesan program of self-reliance, the persistent issue of belief and practice of sorcery, the change in attitude necessary to promote local vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life and many other important topics.
The meeting closed with the Holy Mass on Sunday and the members returned to the three deaneries of the diocese to be a leaven of renewal and change in their respective parishes and pastoral areas in union with the parish priests and pastoral teams.
There are many challenges that face the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea, but the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the power that comes from the Sacraments gives the committed faithful strength to move forward. Please keep the Church in PNG in your prayers.