Religious formation and similar works of the Missions are categorised as Non-Development projects by the government and do not attract tax deductibility. We are most grateful to those donors who support these works.
Formation and Work of the Missions
Greetings from the Sacred Heart House!
Fr Robati Tebaiuea msc was ordained to priesthood by Bishop Paul Mea msc 17th December at Bikenibeu Parish in Kiribati.
The celebration went very well. His family members and members of the Chevalier family as well as people from many parishes came to attend.
Robati also celebrated his first Mass on the following day (Sunday 18th December) at Bikenibeu parish as well.
We congratulate Fr Robati for his ordination to priesthood and we wish him all the best and God's blessings in his priestly life.
Fr Tamati Sefo msc
Thanks to all our donors who support formation works and seminarians
A Christmas Message from MSC Mission Office
I want firstly to assure you of our prayers as we prepare for the Celebration of the Feast of Christmas.
Christmas is the time when we recall with gratitude the incarnation of God coming into our fragile world.
We remember that the Christ child was born in a manger surrounded by farm animals, and shepherds.
Perhaps we don’t like to think too much about the poverty associated with his birth, or the violence caused by King Herod killing so many children.
The unbridled consumerism that characterizes the Christmas season is an affront to most of us.
Often the Christmas Crib is replaced by Christmas shops.
The impulse to buy during this time of year is not only contagious, but has become almost a necessity.
Please God we can find time to pause and ask the meaning and purpose of the child we celebrate as Emmanuel, God with us.
Can we keep “Open our Eyes” this Christmas and find Christ in the poverty that surrounds us.
Through the year your support has helped:
* Clean Water projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
* Disadvantaged Youth in Cameroon, Congo, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, and Timor Leste.
* HIV-AIDS and Health projects in Congo, Fiji, India, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and South Africa.
Over the Christmas period I will offering a triduum of Masses for our generous benefactors.
Some of you may be looking for a project to support over the SEASON OF GIVING and we would welcome your support.
The true spirit of Christmas has found a home in your hearts, and your concern for the poor will be richly rewarded.
Fr. Adrian F. Meaney MSC
Please visit our web site at http://www.mscmission.org.au
Sr Rita Gruke OLSH writes from South Sudan
How to begin a realistic letter from this war-weary, brutally savaged and corrupt-ridden land. My reality is that I begin in a spirit of great hope for what can be and with a spirit of deep gratitude for all you are and for all you continue to make possible for Mapuordit and the community beyond. This letter will not dwell on the thousands of atrocities, reports, including that of George Clooney, all of which have already reached your homes. Sadly these reports are true for many countless thousands; now more than one million who have fled the country. In spite of this and because of this, churches with their personnel are still very much alive and in most areas still carry on their ministries, mainly health care and education and formation especially of youth. As Br. Bill, the Coordinator for Solidarity with South Sudan, notes he see many missionaries going about their work without being overly perturbed. Brother resides in Juba.
In Mapuordit we reap an advantages of living in isolation…we are spared the home invasions, raids etc. We all know each other and though there are different ethnic groups we still maintain peace. A few small incidences of cattle raids, a few ethnic skirmishes reach the court but for the main we are very peaceful. Disadvantages of travel, inconveniences of transporting goods and personnel are far out-weighed by the many positives.
Amongst church activities there are many positive highlights…I share notes on just a few of developmental projects meeting with good success.
Several hours drive South from the capital Juba, there is an agriculture project run by a Vietnamese Religious sister, Sr. Rosa. Sister Rosa is an expert in her field and all farming activities reflect this. All cultivation activity is purposely labour intensive thereby offering a means of living to those who have made land available. ALL crops are grown, orchards abound and produce prolifically. Food preservation is taught. At the farm there is a Primary school for workers’ children as well as a health clinic run by an Australian Religious Sister with expertise in midwifery and general nursing. This year, through Power Point email I learnt much from Sr. Rosa about drying fruits. All this I was able to share with the ladies.
Another highlight for South Sudan was the opening of The Good Shepherd Centre, in Juba. This centre was established for youth leadership training and provision for capacity building courses. The Comboni Missionaries led the development. More recently RSASS (Religious Superiors Association of South Sudan) brought to conclusion the construction of another Centre for purposes of training and formation of Religious personnel as well as that of Laity. Orientation of new Missionaries and laity arriving in South Sudan is now available as well as Renewal Courses oriented towards life in South Sudan. Many other forms of enrichment for catechists and pastoral workers have already commenced at the new site. Congratulations to those persons who were able to succeed in accomplishing so much in Juba, amidst fairly intensive civil and political unrest.
Loreto Boarding School for girls in Rumbek has resumed for Term 3; all boarders have returned and their building program continues with great hopes for the future. Recently I spent a couple of very restful weeks in Nairobi; the change of climate and food is always welcome. A delight also was to find two new books from my favourite authors…Jeffery Archer and Frederick Forthsyte.
Allow me now a small space for a little trumpet blowing for our Mapuordit efforts and accomplishments. Our two schools, both Primary and Secondary have reopened for Term 3, both maintaining their enrolments; the Primary beginning Term 3 with over 1,000 and the Secondary still just above 300. At the commencement of Term 3 we still await our Kenyan teachers but the National teachers have made a marvellous beginning to the term….combining classes and providing quality coaching for those attending. The hospital also is fully operational with malaria, especially among the children topping the list of ailments. Sadly HIV and AIDS is strongly alive among us with its consequential deaths. Yesterday we buried one such patient.
Today we buried a small boy 4 years old…malaria…living in very close proximity to the hospital…people become so used to malaria they forget its devastating consequences.
Our agriculture gardens have produced well…with the highest demand being for okra, maize, tomatoes. Thankfully these crops produced abundantly. With the super abundance of tomatoes and guavas jam making time has returned. Many ladies have now acquired the skills for preserves but the problem is that 500 grams of sugar is 100ssp which unless one has access to US$ is unaffordable. Besides, people are still emerging from hunger months so what is produced now goes immediately to the table. Sincere gratitude for your continued funding assistance which enables Mapuordit County to continue its peaceful and effective presence.
With the addition of the 28 new States declared by President Salva Kiir, a new County adjacent to Mapuordit was recently inaugurated with a flag raising ceremony at Ngop. The position of Commissioner was advertised and a good many teachers and others holding certificates applied for the position. Many military personnel also applied. On the day of ceremony, in his speech as the newly appointed Commissioner of the new County, he advised “you educated people, your turn is not yet but will come later”. So we still have a military presence leading all affairs. I don’t say things would be different if civilians were at the helm!!!!!!!!!!!! Time will tell.
The one project awaiting completion is the irrigation garden. We still await two simple items. 50 metres of ¾ inch plastic hose and 100 metres of fine strong rope to suspend the submersible pump. Neither of these items is available in Rumbek nor Yirol. For the time being the wet season is tapering off with sufficient rain to keep crops alive.
Blessings to all and again thank you for your great generosity which seems never to waver despite times becoming increasingly difficult for you.
Ever gratefully yours in faith,
Sr. Rita Grunke OLSH
To support this work in the Missions, click Donate, leave support as "General Works and Projects (No Tax-deduction)", and write in the Comments box "South Sudan"
Fr Joe Ensing writes from Papua New Guinea requesting financial assistance for Catechist training in Hagita. Can you help?
I came to St Pauls Pastoral Centre in 2001 after a year and a half on staff at Lumko Institute in South Africa. I joined Bill Cunningham and Sr Brenda Nash OLSH at SPPC and took over as director when Bill retired a number of years ago.
The main thrust of our work at the Pastoral Centre since 2003 has been the formation and training of 'Parish Animation Teams'. The idea is roughly similar to a Catechists training program that you would be familiar with from your time PNG.
Besides the PAT programs, we also run renewal courses for those lay people who are active in pastoral ministry throughout the diocese and we, assist with Diocesan Youth ministry, Family Life Apostolate, and in-service for our Catholic teachers, etc. We also go out to the parishes to follow up on our trainees.
At present we are on our third PAT program. As with trained Catechists, some die, some fall away, and there is always need for new replacements. The program has developed into a series of three months blocks covering two and a half years, total of 15 months. Participants are meant to form a team with their Parish Priest and any other full time Pastoral Minister, such as a Religious Sister in the Parish. As a team they conduct Awareness Courses and trainings for a variety of pastoral ministries at Parish and Outstation 'Catholic Community' level.
On an average, we have been forming and training about 40 persons on each of the 3 programs conducted so far. These have included some Religious Sisters.
This is a rough outline of the program:
• A series of 8 short foundation courses in Theology and Scripture
• Adult education and the formation of Small Christian Communities
• Training / formation in a series of Liturgical ministries, such as preaching and conducting Sunday Service, burial, singing etc
• training / formation in a series of Pastoral Care ministries, such as pastoral care for sick and visitation, parish census, Parish Pastoral Council, marriage
• training / formation in a series of Catechetical ministries, such as preparation for sacraments, and RCIA - Adult Catechesis, RE and RI
• training / formation in a series of Social action ministries: Social teachings of the Church; setting up JP&SI parish groups.
The 18 parishes of our Diocese have been invited to send some participants, according to needs, to each of our programs. Some participants come as married couples with children.
The ideal is that each Catholic Community / Out station / Mass Centre, throughout the diocese will have a number of active pastoral ministers working as a team.
Our main source of funding over the years has been the Pontifical Mission Society in Rome.
In October 2015 we received for the Pastoral Centre a little over PG Kina 74.000 which translates roughly AUS 30,000 for the year. Taking into account currency fluctuations, this has been an average contribution from Rome since 2002.
With help from other funding agencies (and our MSC Missions office) for particular projects and special needs, we have been able to subsist over the years.
In 2013 and 2014, Sr Brenda and I were invited to conduct a Diploma program for Religious Srs and Brs in pastoral ministry along the lines of our PAT programs at 5 months each of those two years. This reduced activity and spending at SPPC well within the Rome subsidy for those two years.
However, cost of living has increased and my report to Rome for 2015 indicates a costing balance of K136,000 or AU$54000 is well over the regular Roman subsidy.
For this year, 2016, my report to end of September reads K 131 ,000 or AU$52,400 Right now we are owing our main Supermarket supplier for monthly statement ending 30 September the amount of PGK11,332.75 ($A 4,520). I calculate that by the end of October, when we conclude this second last block, we will spend another K9,000 ($A3,600) n store goods food supplies alone, not including wages etc. but our SPPC bank account is virtually empty.
To cut a long story short we are looking for about PG Kina 30,000 ($A12 000) to clear 2016, and any help will be appreciated.
We have been operating on the basis that the local Community or the Parish pays transport costs of the participants to come to Hagita. Then we look after them and pay for transport fares to return home at the end of each three month block.
I hope this is useful background to support our plea for immediate help.
Joe Ensing msc
To Support this project, click Donate, leave support as "General Works and Projects (No Tax-deduction)", and write in the Comments box "Assist Catechist Training in PNG"
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thammarrurr Catholic College
Wadeye, Northern Territory
COMMENCING 23 JANUARY 2017
OLSH Thamarrurr Catholic School is located in the Indigenous Community of Wadeye, approx. 350km south west of Darwin. OLSHTCS is a bilingual school (Murrinhpatha and English) and the school employs a high number of local indigenous staff as teachers, assistant teachers and support staff.
The school encourages a cultural link with the Thamarrurr community through the Thamarrurr program and our Cultural/Literacy Production Centre for language resource production. OLSHTC is the largest Indigenous Community Catholic School in the Northern Territory with an enrolment of over 640 students from preschool to Year 12.
Wadeye, although remote, has regular flights to and from Darwin, and has several community services within the town. There are plenty of opportunities within the community to fully embrace Australian Indigenous culture.
For enquiries please telephone 08 8978 2477 John Young, Principal, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thammarrurr Catholic College.
Applicants for this position will need to submit an application letter and current resume; including 3 recent professional referees to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close at 4.00pm, 31 October 2016
Many thanks to your benefactors for the scholarship they provided me for my further studies.
My superiors in the Philippines asked me to take on a new ministry as a formator of Students for Priestly and Religious life.
They urged me to do further studies and suggested I go to Australia. But your benefactors provided the finances that made it possible.
Many thanks also for a Mass Kit.
Often I visit remote villages and have to walk long distances. So the Mass Kit is especially helpful.
In return I will remember your all in my Masses, and I will ask my students to pray daily for our benefactors.
Fr. Ramil Baluran MSC from Cebu
It is with heartfelt sorrow we record the death of one of our most faithful co-workers, Br. Paul MCGuigan MSC.
Br. Paul was the son of Mollie and Jerry and came from a family of 7 boys. His brother Mark is the Parish Priest of Lismore NSW.
Br. Paul worked in many our houses in Australia, and in Kiribati. At heart he was a battler for the poor and the neglected in society. His preference was to be doing things which would directly affect the needs of those less privileged.
He felt a certain lack of ease in our comfortable society. He was a hard worker with a love of nature and gardening, which was a genuine means of recreation. All around the Monastery in Sydney we have evidence of his ability to grow trees and plants which he daily cared for.
Paul was strict in his observance of living his religious life of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He was keen on prayer.
He spoke as little as possible about himself.
He was able to mind his own business. He avoided curiosity. He was gentle by
nature. His mother of 96 years said of him that he a kind and gentle boy. In
many ways he chose the hardest, if he was given an option.
For me Paul has been a true, loyal and understanding friend. In life you don’t meet too many such people to keep you sane and balanced. We have known each other a co-worker in the Lord’s fields for over 40 years. I and especially the staff of the MSC Mission Office will miss Paul greatly. May he now rest in the company of his Creator who he reflected so wonderfully while he was among us.
Many thanks for your email in regard to the Mission
Outreach Newsletter that you sent.
It very interesting to know how much you are
doing to assist the needy in different countries of the world especially those
who are most in need.
You have also assisted us in many projects which we
greatly appreciated, one of which is the musical instruments you have sent in
There are many drums, clarinets, and three trumpets.
need a good balance of different number of brass band instruments. I will try
to get someone who is knowledgeable in this, and I will inform you.
is not something knew to our people. We used to have many brass bands in
parishes in early times during the msc Missionaries from France.
band instruments are now old and we need to have new ones for our youths to get
However, many thanks again for the brass band instruments that you have sent, and may God bless you.
Fraternally yours,Bishop Paul Mea msc
Some feedback from the latest container of items sent to Kiribati
Thank you so much Fr for the items in the container. I just return yesterday picking boxes we packed with your workers.
I am so grateful because I am assigned to IHC Taborio this year. So many things are very useful for the school and for the workers and their little ones.
Again thank you so much for your help and I hope you do not mind if you keep IHC Taborio if there are things useful for the school.
Sr Maata Berenato
J. Mangkey, MSC writes with some NEWS FROM INDONESIA
the 4th February 2016 Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi MSC ordained two MSC and
one diocesan deacon in the Cathedral Church of Ambon. They were Johanes Wemay
MSC, Edoardus Sisko Ngutra, MSC and Frangky K.
One unique scene was the presence of a number of members of Johanes Wemay’s family who are Protestant or Muslim, even among them a Protestant minister and an imam of the mosque. His father is still Protestant but on this special day Bishop Mandagi MSC allowed him to receive communion.
usual a few days following the priestly ordination the newly ordained priests
celebrated Mass in their parish of origin.
For Johanes Wemay another unique
event happened. In Kairatu, West Seram, the place of origin of his father, he
was welcomed not only by the Catholic people but also by the Protestants and
After a welcome ceremony once he arrived by boat from Ambon he was led
to a Protestant church and the ministers extended their hands for prayer upon
The people later proceeded to the mosque and he was cordially welcome by the Muslim leaders in front of the mosque and they prayed together.
While in Ngadi, the place of origin of his Catholic mother, another celebration brought special attention. Wemay knelt down in front of some Muslim and Catholic priests who prayed for him with hands extended.
Both the celebrations in Kairatu and Ngadi signified a great symbol of religious harmony especially among the grassroots people. This is a great witness of mutual relationship based on love, respect and understanding.
J. Mangkey, MSC