A Visit to Daru and Kiunga Regions

PORT MORESBY, Papua Nugini Papua New Guinea - Activities for the Canonical Visit of the General Administration of the Montfort Missionaries and the Closing of the Continental Mission Year (CMY) of Asia and Oceania are continuing in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In this second week (7-12 December 2022), the Superiors from Asia and Oceania and the General Administration paid a visit to the Daru-Kiunga Diocese in the Western Province.

On Wednesday, 7 December 2022, Fr. Wismick JEAN-CHARLES, SMM and Fr. Felix M. PHIRI, SMM, the two General Councillors, departed for Daru. There they were welcomed by the people under the coordination of Fr. Robert PERIANAYAGAM, SMM, the parish priest, Fr. Andreas SANTOSO, SMM, the assistant parish priest, and Bro. Bienvenu LUKINU, SMM, a Montfortian scholastic who is carrying out his pastoral year. Also present during the days of the visit to the Daru area were Fr. Mateus JUANG, SMM, the parish priest of Kamusie-Bamu, along with Fr. Rikard NSALU, SMM who works in the Balimo parish.

On Friday, December 9, it was the turn of Fr. Shibi JOSE, SMM, the Councillor of Vice-Province of India, and Fr. Balaswamy KATA, SMM, General Bursar, to go there. They were also welcomed with great enthusiasm by the people there. The group that went to the Daru area also took the time to visit Kiwai Island where they were welcomed with extraordinary hospitality by the local people. Fresh fish, giant prawns, coconut water, canoes, dances…all natural, exotic and make you feel at home.

On the same Friday, 9 December, 4 visitors paid a visit to the Kiunga area: Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, SMM (Superior General), Fr. Arnold Suhardi, SMM (General Councillor), Fr. Norwyn V. BAYDO, SMM (Superior of the Philippines) and Fr. Anton TENSI, SMM (Provincial of Indonesia). Saint Gerard Cathedral parishioners, together with Fr. Aloisius BANGGUR, SMM (Superior Delegate and parish priest) and Fr. Leo Bayu Candra KARTIKA (Diocesan Administrator), had been waiting faithfully for these visitors ever since the previous day which should have been the date of their arrival. Legionaries and representatives of the Faithful danced happily on the pebbles from the Cathedral gate to the entrance of the Church. The following day, Father General and Fr. Anton, paid a visit to the Refugee Village called Katawim in the Fly River area, where a ceremony to bless a new Chapel and First Communion for about 40 people took place. Meanwhile, Fr. Arnold and Fr. Norwyn visited the mining town, Tabubil, where Fr. Francis Prashanth work as the parish priest. In both Katawim and Tabubil, the people welcomed the visitors with great joy.

Why all this welcome? This is because the people here are grateful for the work of the sisters, brothers and priests from the Montfortian family who have given their lives for the Good News in Daru-Kiunga Diocese. In these visitors, people see their predecessors. They thank the missionaries from the three Montfortian Congregations from Canada who have worked here, the names of some of them are still remembered by the people with great gratitude.

The visitors to Kiunga met with the Bishop of Daru-Kiunga Diocese, Mgr. Joseph DURERO, SVD, at Kiunga airport. He was about to fly to Port Moresby and Madang. Father General and his Council are scheduled to meet with him in Port Moresby on 15 December 2022. On the last evening in Kiunga, during a family dinner with the Montfortian Family in the «Liberos Community», Father Andrew MOSES, Vicar General of Daru-Kiunga Diocese, on behalf of the bishop, thanked the Religious of the three Montfortian Congregations and wished the spirit of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, who knew how to take risks without fear for the sake of the Gospel, becomes the spirit of the Christians of this Diocese.