This coming week Cardinal John Ribat will visit the MSC Community here in California. Forty years ago John Ribat, a young man from Papua New Guinea, made his profession of religious vows as a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. After being ordained a priest in 1985, he began his ministry as a parish priest in his native country. With a capacity for pastoral leadership, he was made bishop of the Diocese of Bereina. Six years later he became the archbishop of Port Moresby, the nation’s capital.
Cardinal Ribat is anxious to share his concern for the environment and climate change. He has a great appreciation for Pope Francis’ encyclical letter (Laudato Si) on the environment which recognizes the earth as our common home. For Cardinal Ribat, climate change is personal. The climate changes are having a great impact on the people of his native Papua New Guinea. Many of the people in that part of the world live on islands or along coastal land which is near sea level. Rising seas are putting many of the families in danger of losing their homes and land. Some are already experiencing being forced to abandon their homes or are experiencing salt water coming into the wells they depend on for drinking water. He realizes that climate change needs the cooperation of all nations, and he is deeply concerned that the United States has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord. For him and his people climate change is here and now and is disrupting lives and uprooting people.
Cardinal Ribat knows some of the MSCs working here in our California Community from when they were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. He is going to spend a few days here with us in Palm Springs and with the MSCs working in the Riverside area. We are hoping he will be able to visit our three parishes here in Palm Springs. We are planning to invite him to celebrate a Mass at Our Lady of Solitude on Friday, March 29, around 6:00 PM and then go to our Lady of Guadalupe for a reception on the patio. On Saturday he will celebrate the 5:00 PM Mass at St. Theresa. He will go to St. Catherine of Alexandria, the MSC parish in Riverside, for the 10:00 AM Mass on Sunday, March 31.
Full story at Missionaries of the Sacred Heart site.