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Salesian Bulletin

January - April 2018 | Volume 1- Issue 1 | Vice-province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Let us


the art of

Listening «Sir, give me

this water»

STRENNA 2018 of the Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime


Strenna 2018


Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands


Salesian Bulletin Team Editor:

Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb

Don Bosco looks lovingly as Salesian and boys engage in an interactive encounter under his watchful gaze.

Proof Reading:

Abigail Seta

Cover photograph:

Fr. Joseph Thin sdb Distribution:

Fr. Roger Miranda sdb Printed at:

Star Printers, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Produced by:

PGS Vice-province SOCOM Commission P.O Box 40 Vision City, Waigani 131,NCD, Papua New Guinea Thanks to those who have sent in their articles, reflections and photographs for this first Salesian Bulletin. Your cooperation to adjust and correct the manuscripts is very much appreciated. God bless you. - Editor.

Contents 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22

Message Listening with an open Heart Listen like the Mother Thirst to be listened to From nobody to somebody Listen to the life stories of the young Lets humanise, not demonise To be of service to young people Volunteering in the Missions Honouring Don Bosco News items

«Sir, give me

this water»

STRENNA 2018 of the Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime


Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, our Rector Major, in his Strenna 2018, ‘Lord, give me this water’, has highlighted the need for us to Listen and Accompany our young. In our fist Salesian Bulletin, we have dwelt with the first part of our strenna: ‘Let us cultivate the art of Listening’. Our second issue will dwell on how the different groups of the Salesian Family journey with and accompany our young people. “We need to raise our voices in a prophetic way with Pope Francis and with the Rector Major so that we can offer good news, the type that builds bridges facilitating a culture of encounter rather than creating walls of separation, hatred and fear. Through the Salesian Bulletin, we wish to spread the message of the Gospel and of the Church in favour of the poor and the migrants, in favour of the unity of peoples and of human dignity” - Fr. Filiberto González Plasencia sdb Councillor for Social Communications Please send your articles and photographs, reflections and insights to Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb ambrose.pereirasdb@gmail.com All photographs need to be free of any restrictions. Articles will be edited to suit the space available. You are invited to send photographs to convey ‘Accompaniment’. All matter needs to reach the editor on or before the 7th April, 2018. According to the wishes of St. John Bosco, our founder, the Salesian Bulletin is freely distributed. Three editions for 2018 will be sent to institutions, parishes, religious houses, schools and homes throughout Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and oversees. If you would like to support the work of the Salesian Bulletin, your donation will be most welcome.

Please send your donation to: Fr. Roger Miranda sdb, Provincial Economer, P.O Box 40 Vision City, Waigani 131, NCD, Papua New Guinea. 2

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Message Dear Salesian Family members and Friends of Don Bosco in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands! I'm very happy to know about the first issue of the Salesian BulleDn in the young Vice-province of Blessed Philip Rinaldi (PGS). As you probably don't know, this wonderful instrument of communion and mission forms already for past 140 years’ part of the Salesian DNA around the world. Yes, this magazine was born from the apostolic heart of our Father and Founder of Don Bosco!


On 11th November 1875 Don Bosco send his first 10 missionaries to ArgenDna under the guidance of Fr. Giovanni Cagliero: this is the start of Salesian Missions. Next May 9, 1876 Don Bosco received the Papal approval of the Salesian Cooperators AssociaDon, who were the first supports of the Salesian Missions from the beginning. Next year 1877 Don Bosco launched his magazine in order to communicate and animate regularly his Friends and Cooperators: this is the start of the Salesian BulleDn. Now aher 140 years we can read this magazine in more than 60 different language ediDons within 134 countries, where the Salesian Family of Don Bosco is witnessing the love of Jesus for the young and the poor. Within our EAO region we have the following 8 ediDons: China (Hong Kong), Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Timor Leste and AustraliaPacific. I wish and pray, that the newly born PGS Vice province Salesian BulleDn may contribute to the growth of communion and mission of Don Bosco Salesian Family in this part of the world. May all the official groups of the Salesian Family in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands: SDB, FMA Sisters, Caritas Sisters of Jesus, Salesian Cooperators, Don Bosco Past Pupils and Mary Help of ChrisDans Past Pupils, Michaelites and ADMA members contribute to this wonderful tool of Salesian Family and spread it far and wide for the benefit of the young people! Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB General Councilor for the East Asia - Oceania Region(2014-2020) January 2018

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Listening with an Open

Strenna 2018



Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb


The Strenna 2018 given by Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major dwells on the words from scripture, ‘Lord, give me this water’. Every member of the Salesian family is invited to reflect on how to quench the thirst of the ones we encounter. The seven different Salesian groups in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the context of the varied works and the mission, encourage reflection on the importance of cultivating the precious art of ‘listening’ to ‘accompanying’ our young people. The theme connects wonderfully with ecclesial events of the universal and local church.

see what is happening”, said Fr. Angel. He encourages us to study and discuss the document with our young people.

1. XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in October, 2018, enDtled: ‘Young People, the Faith and Voca5onal Discernment’. As the theme of the synod is very much ‘Salesian’, Pope Francis in an audience with Ángel Fernández ArDme our Rector Major, calls us to play a proacDve and significant role in the process of listening to the young. Together with the whole church “we Salesians we cannot remain passive, looking on as bystanders to

2. The Pastoral LeWer from the Bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for the Year of Youth 2018, has as its theme: ‘Called to the fullness of Life and Love’. The values, discipline and commitment are lived out in their lives and they transform the environment in which they live. In a special way young people are called to fidelity and commiWed love. Families are the seedbed for vocaDons.

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Young people move us to ac5on: The reflecDon of ‘the Samaritan woman’ (Jn 4, 3-42), a meeDng that becomes the icon of how the Lord refers to her, is the sort of relaDonship that we need to establish with our young people. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus is a foreigner. He is thirsty and does not have a bucket and the well is deep and out of his reach. The woman has a doubbul reputaDon. In addiDon, there are the social barriers of his Dme. In this situaDon, a secular place, a well in te open countryside, becomes a place for an encouter with God. In our situaDon today, the process of listening is a real art. Some of us are foreigners on alien soil. Despite the fact that we may have been here for many years, we will sDll remain foreigners. We are therefore dealing with the young across barriers. Barriers also exist amongst our people, ingrained in their own customs and tradiDons. We are fearful of venturing into a place or a space for fear of our safety. The ones we encounter are the ones that come to us. Perhaps we are called, challenged and encouraged to move out and encounter our young people across barriers. The interacDon becomes a place for an encounter with God. “We need to pracDce the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. It is the open heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur.

This ‘encounter’ then: •Fosters openness to the other person •Implies understanding what the person wants to communicate •Readiness to listening to their sufferings, joys and expectaDons •Going beyond the psychological dimension to the spiritual and religious dimension of a person •Listening with openness to the situaDon of their families and the environments they are living in. In conversaDon, very calmly Jesus presents himself as the one who can change her life, thus opening her to a spring of water that promises a special, different and beWer life. Realizing the ‘gih’ she has received, she shares it with the others at the village. The task ahead is no easy one and we are reminded that Our Blessed Mother, who had gone the way before is there. She guides and leads us on by her life and example. Puing together this first issue highlighDng ‘listening’, has been an occasion for reflecDon as I listened and shared with salesians, sisters, teacher, parents, young people, refugees and even immigraDon workers. It has given me the openness to ‘listen across difference’. May this experience be yours as you read through their reflecDons and ponder on their experience, thus making it your very own. May Our Lady and Don Bosco bless us all.

ROSANNO SALA, SDB, Special Secretary at the Synod 2018 "This assignment as Special Secretary is a sign of confidence in the Salesian Family," Fr Sala told ANS. "It is a task that comes from the Holy Father to be of help and support in the preparation of the Synod and, above all, to closely accompany Cardinal Rocha.” "I am very grateful for the confidence shown to me by the Holy Father, as a Salesian and, above all, as a representative of the Salesian Family, which works with young people," he said. "We are a large family which has an educational-pastoral ministry with young people, a way of being with young people, and a style to accompany them. This is a great responsibility for me, and I ask you to accompany me with prayers. As the Children of Don Bosco, we must be faithful to our founder when it comes to a commission that comes from the Holy Father."

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Sheryll Extra-Isoaimo


like the Mother

a personal reflection on parenting

Sheryll Extra-Isoaimo, soon to profess Salesian Cooperator, shares her personal reflection on parenting. Together with husband George Isoaimo, they lovingly bring up their two daughters Isabela, aged 8 and Gabriela, aged 4.  Sheryll is an English teacher at Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, Port Moresby.

As a mother, I strive to listen to my children, not just what they are saying but more importantly to what they are not saying.


Every New Year’s Day, the Church honours the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of Christ and our Mother. On this first day of the year, many make their new year’s resoluDons and try to resolve the weaknesses they perceive to have had the previous year. As for me, my New Year’s resoluDon is to improve listening – a skill and now considered to be an art.

able to advance and be successful. Personally, listening to loved ones is a way to nurture relaDonships. As a mother, I strive to listen to my children, not just what they are saying but more importantly to what they are not saying. It helps me understand them beWer, and I can become a beWer parent. How else to become a beWer parent but to learn from the parent who raised the Lord? The Blessed Mother models for us the art of The importance of the art of listening listening. The Gospels extoll the cannot be denied. Both virtues of Mary in just a few instances. professionally and personally, it is the She listens in faith, in joy and in hope. key to relaDonships. A person who It is in these three aspects of listening knows how to really listen in his or I can learn from her. her profession would more likely be

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

The Gospels extoll the virtues of Mary in just a few instances. She listens in faith, in joy and in hope. It is in these three aspects of listening I can learn from her.

Mary listens in faith. The message of the angel Gabriel must have been so shocking to one so young. Yet in faith she accepted the task set out for her. Her yes was the foundaDon of our salvaDon and her faith is the model of our faith. At the beginning of parenthood, I had no idea what tasks lay ahead. ParenDng advice from in laws and my own mother only took me so far but dealing with a crying baby sharpened my ears. It took faith for me to believe in myself and faith in God that I could be a worthy parent of the blessing given to me. Listening to cries and coos instead of intelligible words and interpreDng them required a large keep of faith.

about superficial things may be rooted in deep seated fears and even laughter can have a whole different meaning. As a parent I had to go beyond the external surface and listen deeper.

Mary listens in hope. At the foot of the cross, at the most intense suffering of her son, she listened and understood that she has to conDnue with the apostles and not lose hope that the resurrecDon is forthcoming. I see parents listening to the suffering of their children in the midst of pain and sickness yet they do not lose hope. I, too, whenever my children are sick, need to listen deeper and hope that there will be healing. I can only Mary listens in joy. During the imagine the strength Mary had on the wedding in Cana in the midst of way to Calvary unDl she reached the celebraDon, Mary knew what she foot of the cross. Her unwavering needed to do, and she led Jesus to courage is the kind of courage that I realise that although his Dme had not pray for at those moments when as a yet come, he also needed to listen to parent I have to stand by my children his mother. Mary listened beyond in Dmes of suffering. what Jesus said and listened to his heart – this was his mission and this As we begin this new year I look to was something he needed to do. As a Mary as my model not just of mother of young children, it is a discipleship but also of parenthood. delight for me to listen to the stories Her examples of faith, joy and hope that they share. To share both joy and stems from her heart so pure as she pain requires listening, not just to their listens aWenDvely. I pray that I can words but also to their body language. imitate her and improve in my A tantrum may mean insecurity; crying listening.

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Sr. Cristina Villasanta, FMA

Thirst to be Listened to

Being in the Missions opens us to the reality of 'Listening'. Sr Cristina Villasanta FMA, arrived in Papua New Guinea in 2001.  She was missioned at Tapini Sacred Heart High School, Goilala District, (2002-2007) and Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko (2008-2014).  She is presently the Manageress of St. Anne’s Skills Training Institute (SASTI)- Sideia Mission.  She shares her reflections on 'Listening to the young'.

They are like young people all over the world. They want you to listen to them speak.


Did I ever thirst in my life? At the deepest core of our being, we cannot deny that there is a THIRST, to be listened to. That need has to be saDsfied.

Central Province, Port Moresby or Milne Bay Province. They are like young people all over the world. They want you to listen to them speak.

At our boarding school, St. Anne’s Skills As I get in touch with young people of Training InsDtute (SASTI)-Sideia, we are different cultures in Papua New on a 24-7 assistance. I noDced that Guinea, a common need arises. It most of our students look serious. does not maWer if they come from the Their smiles seem expensive.

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

As I meet them throughout the day, my constant catch-phrases are: “Smile. Be happy.” “You look beauDful when you smile.” “Don’t be too serious”. InteracDng with my second year VocaDonal Technical Center (VTC) students for Guidance and Counseling, or even the 4th year Bachelor of Educa9on students in DBTI, Boroko, I realised that behind the serious faces are sad family situaDons and major family problems. Several girls have miserable and broken family stories to share. They come from dysfuncDonal or irregular families. So misbehaviours could be rooted from the lack of care and affecDon right the early stage of their lives.

I am close to my father, but he has a violent temper. He has beaten me several times and has even hung me upside down for a day”.

At the end of 2017, I spoke to a problemaDc student and inquired about her home and family. And through her piDful narraDon, I found the reasons of her misconduct. What she shared with me was revealing. With tears in her eyes she said, “I feel unloved. My elder sister gets all she desires. My requests are never granted. I am close to my father, but he has a violent temper. He has beaten me several 9mes and has even hung me upside down for a day”.

listen to our young people. It is a 9me never wasted among our young people especially those in need of listening ears. If we could aWenDvely listen, we could accompany them beWer. If we give them quality Dme listening then it could be a quality accompaniment, too. We have just celebrated the birth of Christ. The IncarnaDon “leads us to place our educa9onal mission in the context of the vision of Chris9an salva9on, as the integral salva9on of the whole person and of every person”. (GEM FMA p.28) There were many instances in my missionary life, especially here in Sideia Mission, Milne Bay Province, that I could hear my inner voice saying: ‘Listen to that girl.’ ‘Have you listened enough to her?’ Or ‘Did you really listen to unheard and unspoken words?’

One of the concerns I’m holding close to my heart this academic year 2018 is to ensure more opportuniDes and open up definite spaces to listen to more young people. May our passion for EducaDon through paDent and acDve listening quench the thirst of our young people for LIFE. Yes, a meaningful and integrated life for we direct them to read their lives in the plan of God! Enriching ourselves with We talked for some Dme and I our daily encounter with God, may we encouraged her that she has the really aWend to our young people’s capacity to speak to dialogue with her thirst to be listened to. parents. I also added, “in everything we plan to do, it will be good to take them to the Lord in prayer and ask for God’s guidance.” That sacred moment to listen to our young people gives us the opportunity to understand their situaDon. It’s an examinaDon of conscience for me. The call to

January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1



Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Priscilla Allan

from nobody

To Somebody The Salesians of Don Bosco arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1980 and in the Solomon Islands in 1995. Every year hundreds of young men and women graduate from its 7 different institutions. Several of them are today in prominent positions in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and other countries. Pricilla Allan is happy to reflect on her experience. Her sharing will inspire our young people today. I was among the 2nd intake of female students studying the Office AdministraDon course in 2002. We then graduated in 2003.

My two years in Don Bosco Tech, Kumgi was a lifetime training and it is still with me and will remain with me until I die.


was my daily rouDne every 2nd week. There were always negaDve comments from bystanders and wantoks when you stand with loads of cargo struggling to get on to the PMV, but I I have learned and acquired so many never gave up and I successfully skills and most importantly the posiDve completed my two years training. way of living no maWer what and Don Today, I stand grateful for the Bosco Kumgi was where I built my difficulDes I encountered. foundaDon. My two years in Don Bosco Tech, Kumgi, was a lifeDme At the campus, we woke up every training and it is sDll with me and will morning at 5:30am for our morning remain with me unDl I die. devoDon. At 6:00am we did our morning chores for an hour. At 7.15am “Bringing my firewood and a kaukau we aWended Holy Mass Dll 7:45am. It bag from Kurumul village in Jiwaka wasn’t compulsory but I was Province, an hours walk to the main commiWed to never miss a single one. highway, catching a PMV, - those days At Dmes, I had breakfast but ohen I it was a long open back truck (Dina didn’t because I took on the task of with canvas) to Minj rot bung. looking aher our first guard dogs, SomeDmes, I was lucky to conDnue but Kreku and Jacky. I had to unDe them at ohen I had to get off and get on the 6pm aher feeding them and chain next PMV to Simbu with my stuff. It them at 6am.

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

My fortnight salary was K30.00, but I never gave up. My personal sacrifice gave me the opportunity to further any skills in Fiji.

Then I was the dormitory captain and it was my duty to make sure that every room was clean and Ddy, be it the girls dormitory, laundry, study room and the recreaDon room. The toilets and shower rooms had to be spotless and dazzling white. I will be fired if Sr. KanD saw dust on the corridor louver blade. ‘It has been a very good lesson learned Sr. KanD, Thank you.’ 8:00am was the assembly followed by school class hours. Every Wednesday we enjoyed our singing class and celebrated regular feast days. One stands out clearly, the feast day of Don Bosco which falls on August 16.

Aher Fiji, I shared my skills and was involved in a lot of charity work over the years. I was able to own a small florist and event designing business. In 2015, I took part in the NaDonal Flower Show represenDng Jiwaka for the first Dme and we won three awards. I was than selected to plan and design the welcome recepDon event of His Excellency Prince Andrew on His visit to PNG to open the 2015 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby. In 2016, in England, at a Women’s world conference, I represented not only my province, Jiwaka, but also my country as well, in my charity work. I was delighted to be chosen to be amongst 76 other Here, I built my foundaDon and for countries in the world to light a those of us who took it seriously, we candle at the thanks giving service of will say the same thing. Our value the closing ceremony. system was: • God All this would not have happened • Time Management without the challenge and the • BudgeDng insights I received at Don Bosco. • Sacrifice • Courage Today, besides my liWle business and • Love and Respect volunteer work at a charity • Total Commitment organisaDon, I work full-Dme as a Procurement and LogisDc officer with I was privileged to acquire these skills Save the Children. My boss calls me and I aimed to be an Office the ‘Procurement Queen’. AdministraDon teacher and to share my values and skills with other I am grateful to all the Salesians, students. I taught at Kingku HiTech, especially the ones at Kumgi and Pepik Jiwaka in 2004. My fortnight above all the Charity Sisters of St. salary was K30.00, but I never gave Ann. “You are our super model. Sr. up. I taught in that school for a year. KanD, Sr. Mary Joseph, Sr. Lina and Sr. This one year of personal sacrifice Ansi. I wish you all the best and gave me an opportunity to further my thank all for your effort to shape a skills in Fiji Islands in 2005. person from nobody to somebody.

Living the Salesian Life and Mission In his animation visit to East Timor, Fr Angel Fernandez sdb, Rector Major stressed the importance of a Salesian way of Life; accompaniment with the young; option for the poor and the Salesian Bulletin. In addressing the Rectors, he said, “You have the great treasure of simple, humble and may poor people around you. Welcome them with a lot of Salesian loving kindness. January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1



Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Fr Srimal Priyanga sdb

Listen to the life stories of the young The actual realisation to listen to the young comes to us through different experiences. Fr. Srimal Priyanga sdb, Rector at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson, shares his insights and experience.

I realised that 90% of those students came from broken families with family problems.


I believe that the Lord invites me and to earth, he was pained as he looked encourages me to ‘listen to the young’. at the surface of things. He left his planet because he was troubled by Let me share with you this experience. vanity. He imagined his rose to be A couple of years ago I had a chance special, but, when he saw a garden of to preach a retreat to our students, it roses, all alike his special flower, he was just before the end of scholastic was crushed. He had imagined that his year and it was the last retreat before rose was unique and valuable; now he they left to do their ‘on job training’. I believed it was common and worthless. spent some time with them and I The fox, however, makes him realize welcomed them to share their life that his flower is unique. stories. I never thought that this life sharing would continue for hours, and All of us might have not had the it was only then that I realised that 90% chance of reading the story of the little of those students came from broken Prince, but the main theme highlighted families with family problems. I still in the story is the importance of looking remember the tears streaming from the beneath the surface to find the real eyes of the students. truth and make meaning of something. It is the fox who teaches the Prince to I am reminded of the story of the Little see with one’s heart instead of with Prince. When the little prince first came one’s eyes.

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Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

The Holy Father said, “I want you, young people to be the center of attention, because you are in my heart.” It is an invitation to all of us to listen to the young. Listening is an art. “We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur,” EG 171. Let us take Mary as our model, what gives rise to Mary’s act of going to visit her relative Elizabeth? A word from an Angel of God. Mary knew how to listen to God. It was not merely ‘hearing’ a superficial word, but it was ‘listening’, that consists of attention, acceptance and availability to God. Mary was attentive to God. She listened to God.

Listening is more than simply hearing. It is an openness of the heart, which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur,” EG 171.

Sr. Paula Casalis FMA, during the “Salesian Family Spirituality Day 2018” in her article ‘Listening to the young,’ discusses five ways of listening: 1. Listening as a Condition: Listening to the young means restoring their dignity as persons – persons who not only have needs but who have the power to change their life. 2. Listening as a Gaze: listening happens with our eyes – through what we look at and how we look. God listens with His eyes. His gaze delves deep into our hearts and He reads what is there, inside, but it is not an investigative gaze that seeks out our failures or weak points. 3. Listening as Silence: silence is necessary for listening. He who forgets himself can open himself up to another. 4. Listening as Trust and Waiting: Outcome of authentic listening is trust and waiting – the desire to walk together with the other and both considering each other the place in which God can express His Will. 5. Listening as Accompaniment: listening - condition, gaze, silence, trust and waiting – all of which flow together within this dynamic of accompaniment. Today’s young people need our help, they need someone to talk to and someone to share their life stories with. Let us not wait for the young to reach us, instead let us open our hearts to the young.

Visit of the Rector Major to Solomon Islands, 2015

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Rebecca Lim

Lets Humanise not Demonise ‘No home, no land, no job, no family’, was the cry of a refugee. ‘For the past five years, I have had only one hundred meters to walk up and down’, lamented another. Over 800 refugees have been on PNG soil for the past five years. Rebecca Lim gives us an insight into their plight. In his message for peace, the Pope insists on four verbs: ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate”. What can we do to listen and understand ‘across difference’ to the refugees as well as our people in Manus Islands and in Port Moresby. All have been affected by this crisis. People become refugees because of

conflict and because peace-building is failing which has led it to become a humanitarian and human rights situaDon. Refugees are not a problem, however, it is clouded by the concept of naDonal security. Refugees and

‘You save me from drowning and punish me for surviving with prolonged detention and uncertainty.’


protecDon. He speaks for many people who have sought Australia’s protecDon.

What is it like to be held in indefinite mandatory detention when you have not committed any crimes or broken any laws by seeking protection? What is it like to be demonised by a people seeking protection are government who calls you an illegal oppressed in their home country. Some say they are now ‘oppressed in maritime arrival (IMA), by your boat ID and/or as a transferee if you were receiving country’. forcibly sent to one of two offshore This is a quote from a person I assisted detention camps on the Pacific Island of Nauru or Manus Island in Papua in preparing his applicaDon for New Guinea?


‘You save me from drowning and punish me for surviving with prolonged detenDon and uncertainty.’ He sought asylum from Australia. He came by boat because there were no safer pathways for him to seek Australia’s

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It is a difficult decision to leave family members parents, wife and children, siblings, friends, culture, profession and all that is familiar to you. It is a difficult decision to risk that dangerous sea journey, alone or with your family, knowing that you [all] could drown.

Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).

The Manus community has been welcoming and increasingly concerned about the welfare of the refugees. They are as much the victims as the refugees.

However, you make that rational choice because most often, your life is in danger and you seek safety because you are unable to register with the UNHCR, or perhaps because you have waited patiently for many years in a transit country to be resettled.

Here is a common sentiment from the Manus community….

Many refugees who cannot return home and wait for resettlement say they remain in twilight zone. Although the ‘do no harm’ principle generally applies in a humanitarian setting, people seeking refuge and protection who are detained are particularly vulnerable and their safety should always be a priority.

It is encouraging that more than 50 refugees detained in PNG have been resettled in the United States. Thomas Albrecht, the Canberrabased regional representative of the UNHCR said he was confident the United States will take many more refugees. Thus, we wait in hope. My view is that no-one is to be left behind.

The lack of a durable solution in a timely manner for the refugees to live in a safe and peaceful country to rebuild their lives is critical to their recovery of prolonged detention and to have a sense of hope. Mixed messages is creating confusion and misinformation and it is fuelling uncertainty and loss of hope. The Manus community has been welcoming and increasingly concerned about the welfare of the refugees and are as much the victims as the refugees.

“We need to help these people [refugees]. We feel sorry for them. They have been separated from their families for a long time. We want to offer friendship and hospitality…”

The process for the United States is slow and the men have become increasingly anxious and unwell. As a good global citizen, we must be part of the responsibility of sharing. Let us deliver our policies with kindness and compassion and remember the words of our Holy Father reminding us: ‘to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate’. - Pope Francis, Migration and Peace”, 21 February 2017.

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Fr Gilbert Pano sdb

To be of service to 

Young People

The Vice-province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands is happy to have their second local Salesian ordained on 21st October, 2017 at Vanimo. At his first mass Fr Gilbert Pano sdb briefly shared his vocation story. May it be an inspiration to many young men and women to listen to the Lord saying, ‘Follow me’. “It is a joy for me to be a Salesian and to be of service to the youth, especially those young people who are poor”, said Fr. Gilbert Pano sdb at the end of a well prepared and meaningful EucharisDc celebraDon on the 22nd October, 2017.

Fr. Gilbert Pano sdb together with his mother and uncle and ordaining bishop Bp. Cesare Bonivento PIME, Bishop of Vanimo.


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He invited young men and women to give themselves to the Lord and generously walk in the footsteps of Our Lord in the Diocese of Vanimo. He also made a special appeal for young men to serve the Lord following the footsteps of Don Bosco as Salesians.

Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Fr. Gilbert was ordained a priest for the Society of St. Francis de Sales on the 21st October, 2017 at St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Waromo, by Ordination of Fr. Gilbert Pano sdb and Fr. Solomon Kulo. His Excellency Bp Cesare Bonivento PIME, Bishop of Vanimo. Together with him, Fr. Solomon Kulo was ordained for the Diocese of Vanimo.

“Young people need someone to lead and guide them”

He was especially grateful to Fr. Henery Bonei sdb, and all the formators at the Seminaryo ng Don Bosco, Paranaque who accompanied him during his preparaDon for presbyteral ordinaDon. Recalling his years of formaDon, he said that his vocaDon story began in Primary school, as he was fascinated by the soleminaty of the vestments. While at Don Bosco Technical School, Vanimo, this desire to be a priest became stronger. And so he joined the vocaDon group.

“Young people need someone to lead The newly ordained priest, expressed and guide them”, said Fr Pano. He his thanks to God Our Father and Our wants to be a Salesian so that he can Lady, the source and the supporter of be close to the young people and his vocaDon. He recalled the presence teach them in the style of Don Bosco of Our Lady in the life of Don Bosco, and give them a beWer life. promised to him from the age of 9 right up to the end. He implored her He thanked the Pano and Embonkru powerful aid as he commences his family and his relaDves from Waromo ministry as a Salesian priest. He also and the other villages for their requested the help of his confreres to support and their prayers. remain a credible and creaDve sign Young people who wish to follow Don and bearer of God’s love to the poor Bosco as priests, religious or sisters are and neglected youth of Papua New welcome to contact: Guinea. (C2). He thanked the ordaining bishop, Bp Bonivento; his superiors, Fr Alfred Maravilla sdb, Provincial Superior of the PGS Vice-province; priests of the Diocese of Vanimo, and all who had a share in the preparaDons for the celebraDons and the ‘bung kaikai’ aher the OrdinaDon.

The Vocation Promoter Salesians of Don Bosco Fr. Joseph Nguyen Dai sdb josephdaisdb@gmail.com Salesian Sisters Sr. Alem Coching, fma mac24fma@gmail.com Michaelites Fr. Peter Hadroc csma hadropiotr@gmail.com

Ordination of Fr. Gilbert Pano sdb

January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1



Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Melanie Ferreira

Volunteering in the Missions

After 5 years of study, with a two and a half hour ride each way to my college, late hours in project work and assignments, and having graduated with a Bachelors in Architecture, Melanie Ferreira was ready for a break. The invitation of ‘work cum enjoyment’ holiday intrigued me, and I consented to the invitation of my uncle priest, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb. My mum was supportive, dad a bit troubled, my sister wondered what had gone into me and my friends thought I was crazy. Before arriving, I researched and reflected on Papua New Guinea. I read up a decent bit, about the people, the naDve wildlife, the city of Port Moresby, the provinces, the country in general and tourist experiences. I was struck by the beauDful ‘Bird of Paradise’, its history, ancestors and customs, but nothing prepared me for the most amazing, enriching, interesDng and unforgeWable experience of my life.

3D models at Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu


the sparseness of the capital of PNG was strange for me. The experiences of many tourists were unfortunately very negaDve and I was privileged enough to have overwhelmingly posiDve encounters with every aspect of Papua New Guinea. Reading about the country didn’t truly match up to what I experienced, there is a lot of violence, but I found that on the whole, a majority of people were extremely kind and jovial.

The first aspect of PNG that I noDced, The first insDtute I worked at was was that the city had decent public Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu. roads. The roads around Port The Short Term I.T course students Moresby were a pleasant surprise but were a fun, mischievous class but the land circumscribed by it was during my two-day workshop with deserted, with a few buildings and them, they were very aWenDve and homes along the coastal road edge. eager to learn about shapes and paper modelling. They co-operated I come from Mumbai and I’m and pulled out great results from a accustomed to a high density of workshop that was clearly outside of people and things in a small area, so their curriculum. arriving in Port Moresby and seeing

January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1

Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

To Araimiri by canoe

Voluntary workers are "among the most precious things the Church has. They express the ‘most noble desires of the human heart, make a person feel loved,’ Pope Francis, the Jubilee of Volunteer Workers.

Computer classes at Araimiri

Working at Don Bosco Technological InsDtute, Boroko was exciDng because I got to view a college and its students from a professors’ point of view, when just a few months ago I was a student too! The professors were dedicated and it was such a pleasure to observe and parDcipate in their classes. Residing at the Mary Our Help Hostel, DBTI campus for about a week and a half was enjoyable. The Salesian Sisters and hostel girls really made me feel at home! They were all so kind and gregarious, I truly felt accepted from the first day.

Archdiocesan Youth Convention

With the hostel girls and Salesian sisters

The experience that struck me most was the random friendliness my uncle and I found in one of the Dny villages we stopped at, on our way to Kerema. We stopped to have a papaya and the people of this village, spoke to us with no formaliDes or apprehensions, just a natural curiosity. Araimiri is the place that made my Papuan experience unique. The journey, the jungle, the humidity and the people, all of which combined together, gave me an inner feel that our young people are eager and searching for something greater! My month long stay in ‘The Land of the Unexpected’ has taught me to be open to new experiences. I went without any presumpDons about what PNG and the people are like, and I believe that, this served me well. I had a great Dme, talking and listening to the foreigners and locals, following a different rouDne compared to what I am familiar with, and touring a small part of the country. If you want a unique experience of culture and customs, keep an open mind and hold no assumpDons! PNG is sure to prove most expectaDons wrong, and hopefully, the country and its people, will always shine with a posiDve light. Volunteers to assist our young people in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are always welcome.

January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1



Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb

Honouring Don Bosco The Don Bosco Shrine, Simbu was blessed and dedicated on the 5th November, 2017 by His Excellency John Cardinal Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby in the presence of Bp. Anton Bal, Bp. Pedro Baquero sdb, Bp. Dariusz Kaluza MSF, Bp. Henk Te Maarsen svd, Fr. Alfred Maravilla sdb, Mr. Bari Palma, Member for Kerowagi District, Mr. Camillus Dagma, the former member for Kerowagi District, priests, Salesians, parishioners and Bosconians. The entrance procession, was led by the Simbu local and students group in traditional attire. The workers who toiled to build the shrine for the past three years were next in line. Forty priests then followed the cross bearer and the altar servers to the church. Cardinal John Ribat blesses the Shrine and the Altar


January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1

At the entrance of the shrine, Bp Anton Bal, Bishop of Kundiawa, welcomed the gathering and thanked those who assisted in the building of the shrine. “The institution caters to young people and serves a need. Over the years, Don Bosco Simbu Technical College has given young people an education, with the right Catholic values and attitudes. This is most needed in society today�, said the bishop. The ribbon at the entrance of the shrine was jointly cut by Fr. Alfred Maravilla sdb, Provincial; Bp. Anton Bal, Bishop of Kundiawa and Mr Bari Palma, MP for Kerowagi.

Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

“To honour Don Bosco, the great miracle worker and friend of youth, the Salesians in 2015, decided to build a shrine in his honour”

“To honour Don Bosco, the great miracle worker and friend of youth, the Salesians in 2015, decided to build a shrine in his honour”, said Fr. Robinson Parapilly sdb, Rector. He expressed his gratitude to God and Our Blessed Mother for their guidance and protection and thanked all who contributed to the building of the shrine. Cardinal Ribat then sprinkled holy water, blessed and later dedicated the shrine. The doors were opened and every available space was filled with the congregation that numbered about 3000 persons. In his sermon, Cardinal Ribat reflected on Luke’s gospel passage. “Zacchaeus”, he said, “climbed the tree in search of Jesus”. He encouraged the young people to search for Jesus, and praise and thank God for his gifts.

Photographs: Congregation at the celebration Entrance procession

Being in the ‘Year of Children’, he reminded the congregation to care, protect and catechize children. He also invited the congregation and young people to respect women and address the issue of gender based violence. The Cardinal then dedicated the shrine to the Father and Teacher of youth, Don Bosco. He also prayed that the youth and the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Kundiawa, Simbu Province be guided by Don Bosco The liturgy in the newly dedicated shrine of Don Bosco was animated by the students of Don Bosco in their respective provincial and regional groups. The Eucharistic celebration and the opening along with the blessing and dedication of the shrine ended with speeches from Most Rev. Bishop Anton Bal, Member for Kerowagi District Bari Palma, the former member for Kerowagi District Mr. Camillus Dagma, and the principal and Rector of Don Bosco Simbu Technical College. All expressed their thanks for the tireless work of building the shrine as it will be the highlight of religious activities not only for the college but for everyone in the region. The Don Bosco shrine is the biggest church building in Simbu Province and in the Highlands Region. It has been built with the tireless effort of an Indian architect and designer Mr. Vavachan and his co-workers together with the Don Bosco Community. The program was an eye-opener to the surrounding communities, districts, provinces and the people of Papua New Guinea. It has brought many people together to rejoice and celebrate in the newly built shrine.

Salesian Mission Day 2018:

Gift and Chance - Fr. Guillermo Basanes, sdb, Councillor for the Missions

RMG, 27 January 2018: The focus of the 2018 Salesian Mission Day (SMD) is again on the Initial Proclamation of Jesus, this time in the Asian continent with a special attention to the environment of the Vocation Training Center. Starting from the title 'Whispering the Gospel' this SMD looks like a precious gift to all of EAO provinces, with the multiple occasion to rekindle the missionary flame of each Salesian. January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1



Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Michaelites celebrate

- Fr Bogdan Swierczewski csma

The Michaelites celebrated a Graduation Holy Mass in August and the feast of St Michael Archangel in September of 2017. Held at the newly consecrated, Divine Mercy Shrine Ruqust, the grade 10 students of St John Paul II Muk High School celebrated their graduation Holy Mass together with Fr Bogdan Swierczewski csma on August 10th, 2017 where the community witnessed 120 students graduate.

Swierczewski csma. At both celebrations, they prayed for local vocations.

The feast of St Michael Archangel was celebrated on the 27th of September at the Kartanim Kuli Parish. Present for the celebration was the St Michael group together with Fr Josef Pekala csma and also Fr Bogdan

The first Michaelite priest arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1970. Seven years later, two others joined him and they began their work in the Highlands. Currently, the Michaelites look after three parishes in the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen.

The Namuncurá Experience

Aspirants at Araimiri

The first year aspirants spent 6 weeks of missionary volunteer service in Araimiri, at a program entitled: Namuncurá Experience. Painting the classrooms, maintenance of the sisters’ convent and the girls’ dormitory, etc. were some of the works that the 11 aspirants were involved in. On Fridays the group spent time in preparation for the weekend apostolate that would take place in the villages. "After these 6 weeks I feel the Lord telling me to be strong and discern well my vocation." Asp. Allan Aiari "The 6 weeks’ volunteer experience was unique and fruitful for me. It taught me many things and helped me to discover many things about myself. It also helped me to understand the value of what my formators have been insisting on in the Savio Haus." -Asp. Marcus Mugau

“The Namuncurá Experience helped me to widen my horizon. I discovered my talent to animate the young and my capacity to do tough manual work even if I have an injury. I felt truly happy animating the oratorians on Christmas and New Years’ day”, said Aspirant Palep Begiglin.

New Provincial Installed Melbourne, Australia, 31 January 2018: In the evening on 30th January 2018, Salesian priests, brothers, sisters, members of the Salesian family and parishioners from Australian, Italian, Vietnamese and Burmese communities gathered at St Margaret Mary’s parish in Brunswick to celebrate the Feast of St John Bosco and the installation of the New Provincial, Fr William Matthews SDB. The Mass was presided by Rev. Vaclav Klement SDB, the Councillor of East Asia – Oceania. Among the con-celebrants, there 22

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were some former provincials like Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB, Fr. John Murphy SDB, Fr. Frank Moloney SDB and many other Salesian Priests, Diocesan Priests including Fr Peter Myo Aung the parish priest of St. Joseph’s parish in Mandalay, Myanmar where Fr Will grew up as a boy. We wish Fr. Will the blessings of the Lord as he animates the Australia-Pacific province.

Salesian Bulletin Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Fr Ángel in Timor Leste Dili, Timor Leste: Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, 10th successor of Don Bosco has spent a fruitful visit in Timor Leste where several celebrations were held with hundreds of youth and Salesian Family members. At a fraternal meeting on Wednesday, 31st of January 2018 with the professed Salesians, Fr Ángel dedicated two and half-hours where he shared in the language of heart (wonderful future of the charisma in Timor Leste was symbiosis of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian). stressed. six major points about the beauty and future of the Congregation in Timor Leste and world-wide. The Rector Major also underlined the charismatic future of Timor, saying: “Your future is in the “We have a great future in these two countries of province, with a simple lifestyle, province living ITM Vice-province. But there is one condition, we with the poor and for the poor people! This is your need a clear charismatic vision,” Fr Ángel stated. major strength. Your main treasure is the mission He went on to explain how the present challenges for the humble and poor youth of Timor Leste. of the Congregation are to become motivations for Don’t’ be misguided!” our charismatic growth. The final part of the meeting focused on vocation Fr Ángel highlighted on the need for growth in discernment, accompaniment of all confreres, with fraternal communion, the growth in Salesian explicit points about the weakness and remedies identity that needs to be consolidated and the for the Salesians within the world wide Salesian need of solid preparation for the young confreres. community. The Salesian Brothers’ important role for the

Salesian Family Spirituality Days Turin, Italy, 21 January 2018: The 36th Salesian Family Spirituality Days held for the first time at Valdocco, made history, for the number of non Italian participants, for the involvement of many volunteers of Piedmont-Val D'Aosta province from many groups of the Salesian family, but especially through the deep touch with the Holy Places of Don Bosco. From the EAO region participated only two groups: two SIHM (Servants of the Immaculate

We need your help

Heart of Mary) Sisters from Thailand and eight Caritas Sisters of Jesus from Japan, Korean, PNG and the Philippines accompanied by their Mother General, her Vicar and the Councilor for the Missions. One of the Caritas Sisters shared their feeling: "We are back to Rome, we are grateful very much for the family spirit, everybody make us always feel at home. It was a wonderful experience although we didn’t understand well the talks (in Italian or Spanish). The atmosphere at Valdocco was very special, different from the one in la Pisana in the past. It's really a Holy Land for Salesian Family."

You can help to educate the young men and women in the PGS Vice Province Send your donations to:

SALESIANS OF DON BOSCO ANZ WAIGANI ACCOUNT NO: 1141-8878 Contact: Fr. Roger Miranda, SDB Provincial Economer Mobile: 71787143

January - April | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1


«Sir, give me this water»



of the Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime

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SB January 2018  

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