Voices of the Church in the Pacific
by Bishop Paul Bird CSsR
From February 5-10, people from Church communities around the Pacific met in Fiji for a week of prayer and reflection on issues facing us in our region. The celebration began on February 5 with Mass in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.
On a warm Sunday morning, the cathedral was full to overflowing with local parishioners and visitors from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa and other islands of the Pacific. The opening procession included servers and readers in traditional Fijian dress as well as bishops from all the countries of our part of the world. The main celebrant was Cardinal Michael Czerny who had come from Rome, where he leads the department that focusses on Integral Human Development. He was welcomed with a garland of flowers and entered the church to the sound of drums and strong singing from the choir and the whole congregation. Songs in Fijian and English filled the cathedral throughout the Mass and there were prayers in some of the many languages of the Pacific. That opening ceremony on Sunday morning began what was to be a week of rich sharing, in song and conversation.
If you would like to know more about the assembly, click on links below. There are photos and short videos that reflect the colours and sounds of each day.
People of the diocese were invited to pray for blessings on this assembly. The Assembly prayer and Prayers of the Faithful for Sundays leading up to the assembly are available to download here.
Photo snapshots of Federation of Catholic Bishops Assembly