Dear Companions on the Journey,
This Journey that we walk together is a Journey of Faith, Love and Hope. It is all about listening to God speaking to us and becoming his beloved children in our changing world.
I am pleased to present to you the Diocesan Planning for Phase Two of Stage Two of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan. As we enter this new Phase with open minds and hearts, all our families have now placed their lives on the solid foundation of the Word of God, through the Bible Enthronement celebration that recently took place across the Diocese. We surely need to be grateful to God that we were inspired and able to program this remarkable and significant event for all our families. So many people were profoundly touched by this action. It was a great moment of grace.
And now we move forward and we give attention to the Demands of Faith. It is about the knowledge of our faith but much more about how to live our faith in the concrete actions of our daily lives. We look at Jesus and we learn from him. As we make efforts to become his faithful disciples we become his friends. He teaches us how to relate to the Father, how to care for one another and for the world around us, how to remain faithful to our commitment. And we build up the Kingdom of God in our midst.
During this Phase we aim at giving new meaning to our faith becoming a lifestyle, the lifestyle of Jesus and we try to adopt his attitudes when relating to the Father, others and creation. We seek to be humble, to always put others first and work for the interests of one another. (read Philippian 2: 1-4).
We walk that Journey as individuals, as couples, as families, as Small Christian Communities, as Parishes and as a Diocese. A baptized person is a missionary disciple. True evangelization takes place when all the people join hands together, moved by Jesus living in them through His Spirit, get involved in spreading the Good News to others to build a better world.
I hope and pray that the Journey of this Phase will be as life-giving as the last Phase based on the Word of God in the Bible. What we plan for the next four years is printed in this book. Let it be printed also in our hearts and our lives.
† Gilles, your bishop Kiunga, August 19, 2016
By December 2020, we, the Catholics of Daru-Kiunga Diocese and the people of good will, have discovered the demands of faith and allowed the life and teachings of Jesus to enlighten our minds and touch our hearts. This has transformed our relationships with God, people and the world around us. We have continually been evangelized to become true DISCIPLES of Jesus and to live our faith as Melanesian Catholics. We have strengthened our Small Christian Communities with the spirit of discipleship in our hearts. We have worked to achieve this through the activities and programs of the Parishes and the Diocesan Services. All our Pastoral Agents have been assisted and supported to live and minister more as disciples of Jesus, and all our structures, administration and steps towards self-reliance have given greater support to our diocesan effort to live and walk the way of Jesus.
We have lived Phase One of Stage Two of our Journey of Faith in which we focused on the Word of God in the Bible, and which strengthened our people. While many of our people are faithful there are many factors in our environment that hinder our efforts and distract us. Our fundamental problem still continues to affect our life. The crisis of leadership at the Provincial Government affects the life of the people. For some people there is confusion and frustration with many things in life which lead them to cult mentality and practices. Mining, logging, and the oil industries affect the life of the people who are also influenced by the rapid and ongoing changes in society and culture. Our people are easily influenced by the fundamentalist teachings of sects and other denominations. Because of the lack of services in most of the places people are often on the move and this affects the life and development of the Small Christian Communities. Still many people have the strong desire to continue on our journey of faith. In living with this situation we feel also the lack of pastoral agents, especially priests and religious to give leadership and direction.
The people find strength in Jesus, his teachings and his ways of living and are able to deal with the problem situations affecting their lives. The leaders and the collaborators are strong in their faith and lead their people well. The people truly follow the way of Jesus, live and promote friendship, trust, care and commitment. There is less confusion and more unity. Dialogue, participation, co-responsibility and taking ownership make us strong in our faith as Catholics and as Small Christian Communities.
In response to our present situation we need now to deepen our living of the Bible and the demands of faith by following more closely the way of Jesus.
December 2020: the end of Phase Two of Stage Two.
WE, THE CATHOLICS OF DARU-KIUNGA DIOCESE: all the Catholics who live in the territory of Daru- Kiunga Diocese. It is not only for those originally from this Diocese but also for those who come from other dioceses.
THE PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL: our friends, brothers and sisters in Christ from other Churches or denominations, people in Government and NGOs who want to support us and walk with us.
DISCOVERED THE DEMANDS OF FAITH: our theme for Phase two.
ALLOWED THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS: our minds and our hearts are opened to learn from the life and teachings of Jesus.
TO ENLIGHTEN OUR MINDS AND TOUCH OUR HEARTS: “To enlighten” means to give spiritual insights to our mind about the life and teachings of Jesus. “To touch” means to allow our hearts to be touched and become sensitive to the life and teachings of Jesus.
TRANSFORMED OUR RELATIONSHIPS: “Transformed” means to be more changed in the way we relate to God, to people and to the world around us.
WE HAVE CONTINUALLY BEEN EVANGELIZED: to welcome and live the God News in our life is an on-going effort under the guidance and light of the Holy Spirit.
DISCIPLES OF JESUS: is the key value we promote during this Phase. Being disciples of Jesus is our calling as Christians. Discipleship requires that we learn from our experiences of the past and live in the present according to the Will of God. As disciples of Jesus we want to learn about four values that Jesus lived and to promote these values during this Phase: friendship, trust, care and commitment.
MELANESIAN CATHOLICS: Melanesians who live the Catholic faith without losing their identity as Melanesians.
STRENGTHENED OUR SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES: to make the SCC’s become strong and secure, and more likely to succeed.
THROUGH THE ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS: the things that we do in order to achieve our aims. Activities and programs are prepared with the cooperation and participation of the people.
PARISHES: the organised portions of the People of God in a Diocese. Each parish consists of all the baptised Catholics and persons of goodwill, gathered normally in families, within its geographical borders. This is where the baptised people live their faith as communities.
DIOCESAN SERVICES: different bodies at the Diocesan level who under the bishop serve all the people of the diocese.
PASTORAL AGENTS: mainly for priests, religious and lay people who are responsible for the on-going pastoral and social work in the parishes and for the growing of the faith of the people. We think also of the many collaborators in the villages and settlements who offer their service freely to keep alive the faith of the people.
STRUCTURES: we think of all our structures of participation and communion, of dialogue and co-responsibility; positions of service are also structures.
ADMINISTRATION: is the scope of activities connected with organizing and supervising the way that an organization or institution functions. It deals with finances, projects, transport, communication, self-reliance, etc.
STEPS TOWARDS SELF-RELIANCE: means the concrete steps to make our diocese financially self-reliant. These concrete actions have to be done at parish and diocesan levels.
For the whole Phase: DISCIPLESHIP
The way we are meant to know Jesus is by being in his company as the first disciples were. Being a disciple of Jesus is not easy. It involves carrying our cross and losing our life to give life to others. It calls to convert to the standards set by Jesus and to be loyal to his teachings. Becoming a disciple of Jesus means placing our lives under his direction so that we can learn his ways and serve him. As disciples we receive Christ’s teachings and apply them so that we become more like him every day. And we work with him to bring the Good News of salvation to family, friends and neighbors. It supposes making a choice for Jesus and his way of life. During this phase we adopt the lifestyle of Jesus. We try to live our lives in the way He lived his. Luke 9: 23; Luke 14: 26; Mt. 10: 24-25; John 8: 31; John 15: 9-17
First step of the Phase - 2017:
We live our faith by following the way of Jesus and we become his friends: we live and promote FRIENDSHIP.
Jesus is very close to his disciples. He calls them friends and not only servants. We need to make daily efforts to befriend Jesus. We know that He reveals everything to his friends. The closer we come to Him the better we will live our faith. Also as we get to know Him better we see more clearly that his way of life is the way of love. He showed his love in so many ways. John 15: 16; Mat. 19: 14; John 15: 9-17
Second step of the Phase – 2018:
We live our faith by following the way of Jesus in his relationship with his Father: we live and promote TRUST.
Jesus totally trusted his Father. He always abandoned himself into the Father’s love. He always did the Father’s will. He taught his disciples to trust in Him as He trusted in the Father. When we trust God fully as Jesus did we become one with him as Jesus was with his Father. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome Him as a friend with trust, He is life……If following Him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust Him, be confident that He is close to you..” (Pope Francis, Homily at the Easter Vigil, 2013). Luke 12: 12; Luke 23: 46; John 17:21; Mt. 11: 29-30; II Cor. 1: 9; Proverbs 3: 5; Jeremiah 17: 7; Psalms 4:5; 118:8; 22: 4; 28: 7’ 32: 10; 86: 2
Third step of the Phase – 2019:
We live our faith by following the way of Jesus in his relationships with others and nature: we live and promote CARE.
The way of Jesus is the way of love. To love means to care for others as Jesus did. We care for the others, we journey with them. Jesus cared for all people, especially those in need. He cared for his followers and He gave them the Eucharist to make them strong on the journey and spread the Good News to other people. He sent the Holy Spirit to help and guide people on their way to the Father. The test of discipleship is to love and care for others. Jesus gave us a new commandment calling us to love without limits and conditions. We need to model our love on the love of Jesus. It is caring for the wellbeing of others without expecting any favor in return. Luke 4: 18-19. 21; John 17: 24; John 13: 15; John 10: 14-15; Phil. 4: 10; Titus 3: 8; 1 Cor. 12: 25-26; 1 Peter 5: 7
Fourth step of the Phase – 2020:
We live our faith by following the way of Jesus in his faithfulness to his mission and we promote COMMITMENT.
The life of Jesus is a life of constant commitment to his calling as Son of God. To commit oneself to follow Jesus is not only a decision but an on-going activity. Commitment is a lifelong process of modeling our lives on Christ and doing whatever he tells us. It leads to the cross. There is no witnessing without daily commitment to live our faith. It supposes the courage to speak and proclaim what we believe. For this we need to move under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Mt. 16: 23-24; Luke 12: 42-44; Luke 16: 10; 1 Tim. 1: 18-19; 1 John 3: 10; 1 Tim. 6: 20; 2 Tim. 1: 6-7, 12; John 2: 5