MANILA, Jan. 16, 2017 – Hours before the official opening of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM) for Asia opening Mass at the Manila Cathedral, a devotee of the Divine Mercy says mercy is what moves the faithful in Papua New Guinea to reach out to 28% of the general population who live below the poverty line.
“That’s how we try to practise our faith … by having love and care for those who often.. are on the street, that we can show God’s mercy to them..to be caring and loving,” said Margaret Gerari, one of 44 “unofficial delegates” of WACOM from Papua New Guinea (PNG) who hope to join the international congress at the last minute.
According to the 52-year old primary school teacher, Catholic organizations like her Divine Mercy group, Legion of Mary, and others try their best to reach out to streetchildren and the homeless, “to have the love” and to treat them just “like anybody.”
Mobilized by coordinators, the Divine Mercy group of PNG follows a program that includes visiting families and the sick in hospitals, as well as the daily recitation of the 3 p.m. Divine Mercy prayer.
While PNG is no stranger to non-government organizations and more organized aid initiatives, Gerari, who took the 5-hour trip to Manila, said the Catholic faithful of PNG do what they can for the more unfortunate members of society.
“We try our best to help one way or another…So we have to give our love and care to them and show God’s mercy,” added Gerari, who hails from Port Moresby, the capital of PNG.
Hosted by Bogota, Columbia, WACOM 3 in 2014 carried the theme “ Mercy, Word, and Mission for a new spring in the Church.”
Themed “Communion in Mercy, Mission for Mercy”, WACOM 4 runs from Jan. 16 to 20. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)