A couple of weeks ago, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands was having its annual meeting just down the road from St. Fidelis.
One Sunday morning, Nate Johnson and I were asked to drive Archbishop Douglas Young and Bishop Bill Fey to the village church at Rempi for Sunday Mass.
The villagers really turned out for the event! A group of villagers was decked out in their traditional attire (“bilas”) and escorted the bishops in procession into the church. The church itself was bilas’d as well, decorated with all manner of flowers and greenery.
As you can see from the photos, it was a great Mass to attend as both a spiritual and cultural event. I’m so glad that I was able to experience this unique part of PNG culture.
Following Mass, a gathering on the nearby school parade grounds gave the parishioners a chance to formally welcome the bishops to their village and to give them some input on the challenges facing their community, families and youth.