From May 3 to 22 the General Secretary of the CBF, Fr. Jan J. Stefanów SVD, was on a working visit to Papua New Guinea.
The main reason for the visit was the episcopal ordination of Fr. Valentine Gryk SVD, who for several years (2006-2014) was the Coordinator of the then Oceania Sub-Region of the Catholic Biblical Federation. Fr. Valentine was consecrated as the new bishop of the Diocese of Goroka on 7 May.
This event allowed Fr. Stefanów to make several meetings and visits and thus to get to know the social, cultural and ecclesial reality of Papua New Guinea better and to promote the Catholic Biblical Federation and its activities and projects.
On the morning of May 4th the CBF General Secretary was invited to meet with the members of the Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands at their Plenary Assembly. Father Stefanów presented the Catholic Biblical Federation and its activities and projects to the bishops during this meeting, which lasted about an hour, and was also able to get to know their expectations and needs.
In further meetings with Cardinal John Ribat MSC, with the Secretary General of the Bishops' Conference, Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, with the director of the Liturgical Catechetical Institute (LCI), Fr Tomas Ravaioli IVE, and with the Executive Secretary of the Department of Evangelisation, Fr Victor Roche SVD, the points of convergence, projects, objectives and common lines of action could be further clarified.
Besides the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen, where the Bishops' Conference Assembly was held, and the Diocese of Goroka, where the new bishop was ordained, the CBF General Secretary also visited the Archdiocese of Madang, where he met with the local bishop, the President of the Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Anton Bal, and visited the largest Catholic university in the country, Divine Word University, where he presented the project for a Master's degree in Biblical Pastoral Ministry. The project attracted a lot of interest from the academic authorities of the University. The retreat centre in Alexishafen was the last stop in the Archdiocese of Madang.
The next stage of the visit took place in the Diocese of Wewak. The meeting with Bishop Joe Roszynski SVD and the visit to the Biblical-Theological Formation Centre in Kunjingini were the highlights of the visit.
The journey through the country ended in the capital, the see of the Archdiocese of Port Moresby. This is home to the country's main major seminary and the Catholic Theological Institute where seminarians from most of the dioceses and religious congregations and many lay people study. It is the largest theological centre in the country.
On the last day of his visit to Papua New Guinea the General Secretary of the CBF, Fr. Jan J. Stefanów SVD, concelebrated with Archbishop Rochus Tatamai MSC of the Archdiocese of Rabaul the Mass televised by NBC for the whole country. At the end of the celebration Fr. Stefanów briefly presented the mission of the Catholic Biblical Federation to the viewers.