The Catholic Diocese of Kundiawa in Simbu province has her new bishop, Paul Sundu been installed on Saturday at the St. Mary’s Parish in Kundiawa attended to by 10 bishops in the country with Cardinal Sir John Ribat.
The three-hour consecration of Bishop Paul Sundu with the liturgical program was attended by a packed crowd coming from the 13 Catholic parishes in Simbu.
Under an overcast sky the bishop’s solemn installation investiture began with leading of Paul Sundu to the altar guarded by the 10 bishops by Fr. Peter Kim, the district superior of Divine Word Missionary (SVD) representing the religious and Fr. Moses Gend, the youngest priest in Simbu, representing the Diocesan or local priests portraying their support to the new Bishop.
Bishop Sundu was laid face downward on the floor of the altar while the bishops and Cardinal Sir John prayed over the new bishop at the background litany sang by MMSI sisters based in three-to-one Dirima parish.
The congratulatory and encouragement letter from Pope Francis to Bishop Paul Sundu and the Catholic faithful to work together in prayers and deeds to maintain the holiness of the Church, which are the people was read out by the Vatican diplomat, Fr Jacek Pinocy who is the Secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature.
The consecration of Bishop Sundu was administered by the Archbishop of Mt Hagen Douglas Young together with Archbishop Anton Bal of Madang and assisted by Bishop David Libert of Mendi.
The installing of Paul Sundu into the office of the Bishop included the oiling of the head as the leader of the Church, the wearing of the cross of Jesus to face and work with the challenges, the wearing of the ring marking his marriage to the office, the wearing of the tuktuk on the head uphold and protect truth, and the shepherd staff to lead the Church in purity.
Bishop Paul Sundu then read out to the people what is expected of him and his office.
After the consecration all the bishops with Cardinal Sir John laid their hands on the head of the new bishop and later embraced him as the sign of good will.
That ended the first part of the program with the new bishop being the main celebrant of the mass and Bishop Paul taking his chair inside St Mary’s Cathedral thus ending the program.
Bishop Paul was ordained a diocesan priest in 2006. His last posting as parish priest was to Koge. Paul Sundu is the fourth bishop of Kundiawa and the second local bishop.
Bishop Paul succeeded then Bishop Anton Bal who was elevated to Archbishop of Madang leaving Kundiawa Diocese without a bishop for two years till the Vatican elect Paul Sundu early April this year.
During the vacancy period Fr Richard (SVD) was the administrator of the Diocese since.
Paul Sundu hails from Womatne in the Kundiawa-Gembogl district. He is 48 years old, probably the youngest bishop in PNG.
Among the prominent people who attended the occasion was senior politician and governor of Western Highlands Mr Paias Wingti.