Townsville and Port Moresby strengthen ties

Bishop Tim Harris and Cardinal John Ribat with Port Moresby locals (Neil Helmore)

Townsville Bishop Tim Harris has continued to strengthen the bond between North Queensland and Papua New Guinea during a visit last week to Port Moresby. Source: Townsville Bulletin.

In 2012, the late Bishop Michael Putney and Port Moresby Archbishop Cardinal John Ribat msc, signed a significant and unique sister diocese agreement, which allowed for the cooperation between the two dioceses in areas like education, social services and parish pastoral support.

Since his episcopal ordination in May 2017, Bishop Harris said he was keen to continue strong connection between the two dioceses.

“I believe that this is an important agreement, our two cities are sister cities, Port Moresby is a very close neighbour and I want to see this agreement strengthened,” Bishop Harris said.

Bishop Harris met with Cardinal Ribat in Port Moresby to further understand the agreement and explore the city.

“This has been a marvellous opportunity to get to know the cardinal better and get an understanding of how our two regions can better support each other,” Bishop Harris said.

“We are all people of God and I have been very moved by (the) warm welcome they have given our little group.

“Our delegation participated in a very fruitful discussion with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and we shared how this relationship between our two dioceses has been successful and how we can progress it and strengthen it,” he said.

Cardinal Ribat and Port Moresby Vicar General Fr Ben Flemming msc took Bishop Harris and his party along the Owen Stanley Range. They visited Owers' Corner, a significant part of the Kokoda Track in WWII and now the starting point for many Australians who walk the Kokoda Trail each year.

“This was a moving experience to visit this place and get a very simple understanding of what the terrain was that the soldiers of World War II experienced," Bishop Harris said. "And to then visit the Bomana War Cemetery and see the graves of more than 3000 Australian soldiers was very powerful."


Bishop renews Port Moresby Archdiocese commitment (Townsville Bulletin

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