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Oceania Capuchin Bishops Meet in New Zealand

Our Capuchin bishops from Oceania were in St. Joseph Cathedral in Wellington, New Zealand, on their way to the closing Mass of the meeting of the Federation of the Catholic Bishops from the territory, held from May 12-16. The five were among over 80 bishops who form the Federation representing dioceses from PNG/Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. 

Archbishop Martin KrebsThe meeting was a rare opportunity for reflection, prayer, discussion and informal time together. During the opening Mass, Archbishop Martin Krebs (left), Papal Nuncio to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, read a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State on behalf of Pope Francis, offering his prayerful support and his hope that during their time together the bishops would find inspiration and strength for their common mission in the service of God’s people.

'Knowing how to read the signs of times in the Pacific' was the theme under discussion. They also grappled with the relationship between faith and secularism, evangelization and the issue of immigration policy and detention centers in Australia.

JohnDew"It is a unique time of prayer, fellowship, reflection and discussion on topics which concern all of us. It is a valuable opportunity for collegial support for one another as bishops", said the Archbishop of Wellington, John Dew (right), president of the Bishops' Conference of New Zealand and of the Federation.

The assembly, held every four years, allows the Catholic bishops from across the region to discuss issues and challenges facing the church in Oceania. The Archbishop remarked that the general theme proposed for the reflection was "evangelization in the spirit of Pope Francis " and "no doubt much of the spirit of these formal and informal conversations were from the Holy Father’s inspiring exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [The Joy of the Gospel]."

The bishops also discussed the results of the recent survey on family life requested by the Vatican ahead of the upcoming October synod in Rome.

Bishop Don reported that the next Federation meeting in 2018 is planned to take place in Papua New Guinea.


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