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Saturday, May 31, 2014

New SOLT Priest Ordained in Papua New Guinea Today

Today, May 31st, 2014, the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady, in the Archdiocese of Mount Hagan, Papua New Guinea, Fr Willie Witne, SOLT, was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood by Archbishop Douglas Young at his home parish in Olga. Tomorrow he will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at the Kagamuga Outstation which is the chapel closest to his village.

In Papua New Guinea, an ordination is an all-day affair, taking up to 6 hours. Before the ceremony, the people of the village usually cook 10-15 pigs by burying them in the middle of the village with hot rocks, which cooks during the ordination rite.  This is called Mu-Mu.  The ordinand processes to the Church from his home wearing traditional tribal dress. He is met by elders and people of the village, who greet him with a variety of dances and songs, some made up for the occasion. 

When arriving at the Church, the ordinand, vests in his diaconal attire and the rite proceeds according to the Roman Rite. Afterward, there is a huge banquet, and the newly ordained priest gives blessings to the people and thanksgiving speech to God and to the community for the great blessing of being ordained "from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Hebrews 5:1).

Fr Witne processed from his home to the Church where he was ordained.
Deacon Witne stands before the Archbishop when called and says, "PRESENT!"

Deacon Witne lays prostrate as the people invoke the Saints
Fr Witne receives the gift of Holy Orders by the laying on of hands of the Bishop.
Here the priests, as a sign of their fraternity, lay hands on him.
Here newly ordained Fr Witne gives first blessing