LAE, Papua New Guinea - On Saturday, December 15, 2018, the ordination of Monsignor Rozario Menezes, SMM, as the third bishop of the Diocese of Lae, Papua New Guinea (PNG) took place. The celebration was held at St. Mary's Primary School in the city of Lae. According to the list, around 50 priests and 21 bishops were present, including Cardinal John Ribat MSC, who was the main minister of the ordination. Around 600 faithful attended the ceremony, including the representatives of the civilian authority and the Police Commissioner Gari L. Baki.
Bishop Rozario’s predecessor Bishop Christian Conrad Blouin, CMM of the Congregation of Mariannhill Missionaries (CMM), was also present at the celebration. The Superior General of the CMM Congregation, Father Thulani Victor Mbuyisa, was with him. On the Montfort Missionaries side, there were Father Luiz Augusto Stefani, Superior General, all the confreres working in the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, of course with Bishop Gilles Coté, and those working in Port Moresby. The Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel who are working in the country were also present.
In his homily, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, stressed the importance of the role of the laity in evangelization.
After lunch, in the afternoon, there was a cultural presentation, with various dances and presentation of gifts to the new bishop and the different people.
On the following day, Sunday, December 16, at 8:00 am, the first Mass of the new bishop, attended by six bishops and dozens of priests, took place at St. Mary's Cathedral in Lae. In his sermon, Bishop Gilles Coté, SMM, specifically asked the new bishop to follow the example of Father de Montfort, who focused all his missionary work on ecclesial renewal: a Montfortian must bring this renewal to the Church, particularly in a diocese. Today, according to him, this can be lived in imitation of Pope Francis who insists so much on the renewal of the Church.
- Arnold SUHARDI, SMM