Papua New Guinea
PNG Community – Latest News Posts
Here are the latest six news posts from the PNG Community:
- PNG Ministry with Callan Services at Wewak (8/10/2017) - Sr Regina Sabau describes her ministry with Callan Services based in Wewak PNG. Callan Services provides education, health and community based rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. “Each day families come to the Resource Centre for a variety of Services. I would really like to learn ‘sign language’ for our people who are […]
- Jubilee celebration at Aitape, PNG (8/8/2017) - Sr Bernie Telemai celebrated her Silver Jubilee in Aitape with a great and genuine joyfulness. The liturgy was very alive with colour, meaning, symbolism, ritual, and dance all to express Bernie’s 25 years of faithful commitment to Presentation Life and Mission. Bernie’s mother and family joined with the Sisters, ‘Friends of Nano’, many of Bernie’s friends, […]
- Bishops of PNG & SI urge ban on deep sea mining (6/6/2017) - As the UN Commission on the Oceans gathers in Sweden for this World Day of the Ocean on 8 June, the Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands are urging the PNG Government to ban deep sea mining.
- Reflections from Nagle Education Australia Conference (5/27/2017) - Susan Miller of Presentation Sisters Wagga Wagga, has collated insights from participants at the Nagle Educational Alliance of Australia (NEAA) Conference held in Sydney 3-5 May 2017.
- Friends of Nano visiting from Papua New Guinea (5/12/2017) - Two of the very first cohort of students to attend primary school with the Presentation Sisters at Malol, Papua New Guinea, close to 50 years ago, are visiting with Presentation people and schools in Australia. Husband and wife – Job, a District Education Manager with the PNG Government, and Alexia, a counsellor and former […]
- Niugini News – Community care (3/7/2017) - In their latest news bulletin, PNG Presentation sisters tell of their community care work with marginalised and remote communities – at Arop on the Aitape coast and in the mountains at Ningil.
The PNG Story
The first Presentation Sisters arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1966, one hundred years after the first group of Presentation Sisters arrived in Australia at Richmond, Tasmania. The first five Sisters went to the village of Ningil in the Torricelli Mountains in the Saundaun Province to teach in the village school. Since then the Sisters established communities at Malol and Aitape. In 1998 the Sisters at Malol were among the first people to alert the world to the disaster caused by the tsunami in that coastal area. Following that the Sisters moved to be with the people as they were resettled in new villages.
During 2003 three Sisters visited several remote villages in the Torricelli Mountains with the prospect of establishing a new community to work with the local people. Consequently the sisters formed a community in Yimut and on 11 November 2007 the first national bishop of the Aitape diocese blessed the priest’s house, sisters’ convent and church there.
The languages of Papua New Guinea number over 850, making it the most linguistically diverse place on earth.
The Sisters in PNG come from various areas of the Sandaun Province and ‘one-talk’ the language of each village is different. The people speak a common Pidgin English to overcome communication barriers across villages.
The ministries of the sisters in PNG include Administration, Nursing, Education (Primary and Youth), Formation, Hospital Chaplaincy, Pastoral and Parish Work, Secretarial Work and Study.
The Perils of Travel in Papua New Guinea
“Nothing less than a helicopter, Army Duck or jeep, would help alleviate the pain of transport in regional Papua New Guinea! Since we didn’t have any such mode of transport available to us, like others in the locality, we had to rely on the truck or occasionally a boat when on the coast.” – Sr. Margaret Mary
Sr Margaret Mary, who has now returned to Australia after living with the Presentation Sisters in Papua New Guinea for many years, has spoken of the difficulties of transportation in the region:
“There is no air link between Wewak and Aitape so most people travel by road. On this route there are at least twenty six rivers to cross. Some of these rivers do not have bridges and those that do have a bridge are often unreliable after heavy flooding.
When I say we ‘travel by road’ the term ‘road’ is used loosely! Rivers are often in flood so it is not advisable to cross when this is the situation. At the end of a trip the truck is ready for a major overhaul. This often runs into thousands of Kina. A truck is the life line for the Sisters.“
Read Sr. Margaret Mary’s full story and find out how to help the vital community work of the PNG Sisters.
“Madonna of Hope”
Sr Heather Burke, Presentation Sister and artist, has painted a Madonna and Child in the context of Papua New Guinea culture and has called her work Madonna of Hope.
“I choose to work from a photo, selected among many, of this particular woman because of the quiet, meditative serenity which pervades herself and her child. The child is very secure in his Mother’s embrace and the expression of the love between them is very evident. It seems to me, also, that her soft smile suggests confidence and hope for the future.”
Sr Heather added, “In the background of my work, Madonna of Hope, one of the branches forms a cross with another tree trunk, suggesting the reality of suffering to come in the life of Mary and her child, and in the lives of the people of Papua New Guinea especially the women”. Read more about Sr Heather and Madonna of Hope