12th Provincial Chapter of MSC PNG - Lay Experience

posted Jun 29, 2011, 7:38 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Jul 27, 2011, 7:18 PM ]

The 12th Provincial Chapter of the MSC PNG Province was held at the Chevalier Centre, Vunapope, from the 01st to the 11th of May 2011. For the first time in the history of the Province, a lay person was invited as an Observer to the Provincial Chapter. The Provincial Chapter is a very important meeting of members of the Congregation of consecrated and professed MSC Priests and Brothers in PNG – “MSC PNG Province”, where a new Provincial Superior is elected to oversee the missionary work, ministries and welfare of the members of the Congregation for a term of three years. I had the privilege of being invited to attend this meeting on behalf of our Lay Associates in PNG.

I would like to firstly, congratulate Rev Fr George Tami MSC, for being elected as the new Provincial Superior. Secondly, I would like to say thank you to Rev Fr John Aneo MSC, for his guidance and leadership as the outgoing Provincial Superior. Thank you also to Fr John and the previous Council for inviting me to attend the Provincial Chapter. Without their invitation, I would not be able to share this wonderful experience.   

My overall observation of the Chapter was that it was a very successful meeting. The election of the new Provincial Superior and the successful conclusion of the meeting came about as a result of the proceedings being conducted and managed professionally, despite a few minor logistical hiccups from the start.

The Chapter was facilitated by Fr Anthony Arthur, MSC from Sydney, Australia. Fr Narciso Abellana, MSC, Assistant General I/Councilor from the General Administration in Rome also attended the meeting and gave a very inspiring and encouraging talk to the Chapter members on “Obedience in Mission”. This presentation really inspired some deep thoughts for discussion on the ministerial roles of our consecrated and professed brothers.

Before the Chapter closed, the Provincial Superior of the German Province, Fr Werner came in and spoke on behalf of the German confreres, the nine (9) currently remaining and working in PNG, particularly in the Archdiocese of Rabaul. He also pronounced the Transfer of certain Assets from the German Province to the PNG Province in order to support the welfare of the members and sustain the Province in the long run.

Various Reports were presented by certain member delegates to the Chapter and discussions that followed these reports stimulated serious thoughts about the growth and future of this young province. Inspiring and intriguing comments and insights also came from both young and old members that attended the Chapter.

Having deep respect for my ‘Observer status’, I humbly accepted the invitation to present the “Guidelines for the Lay Associates” which, the Chapter received and endorsed, as the basis to now move forward with awareness and formation for the laity. 

The atmosphere during the entire period of the meeting was very warm, encouraging and enriching. Relationships between individual members of the Chapter were open, free and encouraging for the growth of the Province. I believe that to be a sign of maturity and a way to solidarity and strength within the congregation. This however, will only work if all the members commit themselves and dedicate time to making it happen from and through their different roles and ministries.

The proposals put together before the conclusion of the Chapter really emphasized the points raised in the discussion sessions and consolidated to form the guidelines for the new administration, to execute during the next term, for the work of all members of the congregation. The proposal for “Promotion of the Laity” among others directly concerning the work of the religious MSCs, reflects their deep concern to draw and guide us, the laity to work together with them to spread the compassionate love of the Scared Heart of Christ to everyone. Let us be aware and mindful of our need to respond and collaborate sincerely in this rich and wonderful apostolate. 

My sincere thank you goes to all the chapter delegates for their warm welcome, acceptance, encouragement and support throughout the meeting. I believe that through this we will go a long way in collaborating and realizing this reciprocal relationship because this is really the “Way of the Heart”

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Loved Everywhere, Forever!


Congratulations! Rev Fr George Tami MSC, the new Provincial Superior

posted May 19, 2011, 7:33 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Jun 13, 2011, 9:55 PM ]

On behalf of all our MSC Lay Associates, we would like to Congratulate Rev Fr George Tami MSC on his election as the new Provincial Superior for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) PNG Province. Fr George was elected on Thursday 05th May 2011 during the 12th Provincial Chapter of the MSC PNG, at the Chevalier Centre, Vunapope, East New Britain.

Fr George comes from Matupit Village, Rabaul, East New Britain Province. He attended Primary education at St Michael's Matupit and Secondary education at George Brown High School, before going on to do his minor seminary studies at Channel College Ulapia, ENB. He made his First Profession on 02nd February 1979, his Final Profession on 02nd February 1985 and was ordained on 01st December 1985.  

Fr George's election also took place on his 53rd Birthday; what a coincidence! That, certainly is also a blessing, through God's grace. We will continue to pray for him and we wish him many more Blessings and Guidance during his term as Provincial Superior. 

Fr George takes over from Rev Fr John Aneo MSC, who was Provincial Superior for the last two terms. We also say 'Thank you' to Fr John for his guidance and leadership
during his term in office. We wish him well with God's blessings and strength in whatever new assignment that will be given to him and where he will be going.

All our MSC Lay Associates are also encouraged and urged to pray for the new Provincial Superior and his team of Councilors together with the Provincial Administration during their term over the next three years.

In congratulating Fr George, we pledge our support and commitment to continue to work in collaboration alongside/with our consecrated and professed brothers and sisters (MSCs), DOLSH and the Chevalier Family, in sharing and spreading the love of God through our families to everyone.    

To Rev Fr George, May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be your companion, your strength and guide as you lead the Province over the next three years.

Fr Vendelin goes for Eye Treatment, meets old friends from PNG

posted Apr 12, 2011, 6:21 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Jun 15, 2011, 8:33 PM ]

On 28th March 2011, I traveled with Fr Vendelin Naila MSC, to Brisbane where he was referred to undergo eye treatment at the City Eye Centre. His first appointment for consultation with the opthalmologist, Professor Lawrence Lee was on Wednesday 30th March. Following that first meeting, other appointments were made for further
checks and treatment on Fr Vendelin's eyes.

I have since returned to Port Moresby on April 09th, while Father has stayed on for the remaining treatments on his eyes before he returns on the 19th. While in Brisbane, we stayed with Fr Gerard McCormick and Fr Albert Chan, both MSCs, at the St Thomas Parish, 31 Perth Street, Camp Hill. Fr Gerard is the Parish Priest and Fr Albert is the Chaplain for the Chinese Community of Brisbane. As always, that wonderful charism and spirit of MSC was our delightful experience, living with the two confreres. No house-cleaner, no cook however, we had to do our own laundary and cook our own food. Just as well, we were no small boys to worry about all that. We just managed fine.     

Interestingly, Professor Lawrence Lee's grandfather lived in Lae, Morobe Province, during and after the Second World War, before moving down south and eventually settling in Brisbane. The doctor himself told us this when we went in for Father's fist appointment/consultation. Photographs of Fr Vendelin's eyes had to be taken, followed by a couple of eye injections, then to be followed by laser treatment.

Although we were away from home, we felt very much like in PNG. Fr Albert Chan MSC, of Chinese origin, was born in Rabaul always talked about our Chinese friends from PNG who are now settled in Brisbane. He took us to one of their prayer gatherings (Monday 04th April) at 06:30 pm. We met Chinese couples who had lived in Kavieng, Rabaul, Kimbe and Port Moresby. We prayed the Mary's Way of the Cross led by Fr Albert himself and sang three hymns. At the end of the prayer, he gave us the Blessing and then we had a very lovely meal which included a couple of 'Mumus' prepared by the members.

Two blocks down from the presbytery live Iubu and husband Steve Kelly. Iubu, from Barakau village outside Port Moresby was born and grew up as a United Church member. She has been converted and is now Catholic since marrying Steven Kelly from Tasmania. Iubu prepared us some PNG kaikai of tapiok (cassava), kaukau (sweet potato) with some ibica (greens), banana, chicken and fish. We felt very much at home. Steve and Iubu told us that some of the PNG Youth from Tapini Parish that went to Sydney for the World Youth Day in 2006 spent two nights at the Kellys' home before returning to Port Moresby. They were very happy to help the youths, most of whom were first-time travelers abroad during the Sydney World Youth Day.

We were also welcomed by Johnetta and her family.  They live up north at Morayfield.Johnetta works in the Caboolture Hospital.  Johnetta is
the younger sister of Archbishop John Ribat MSC.

During a brief meeting with her, she took us to attend a small farewell gathering for one of two sisters of Late Herman Taman. The youngest, Mary, is married and lives in Brisbane. The gathering we were taken to was for Odillia, her sister who spent some time with them and was returning to PNG on Sunday 03rd April.

Amidst what might have been a worrying and stressful time due to the lack of sufficient visibility in sight, whilst awaiting his eye treatment, Fr Vendelin was treated to a very warm and welcoming feeling with all these happenings. These also gave him confidence and strength as a person, whilst the two confreres Gerard and Albert continu ed to provide that support, accompanying him in prayer together with the Catholic Community of St Thomas Parish, Camp Hill.
I know that you were all praying for Fr Vendelin so that his treatment would be successful. His progress has been very good so far. Thank you all for your prayers.MAy you

all be blessed by Jesus' compassionate love this Easter!


Thank You Sean

posted Mar 17, 2011, 10:20 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Mar 20, 2011, 5:48 PM ]

It was a real blessing to have Sean Donovan from the Mission Office in Sydney for his short term with us here at 2 Mile. Sean helped in setting up the website for the Lay

Associates when he set up the main one for the Province. Apart from that Sean also gave some basic training and some very informative tips on how to make progress with the website and the computers in the office.

We like to say "Thank You" to Sean and we wish him all the best in his work as a Lay Missionary with the Mission Office in Sydney. 

 Sean has left Port Moresby and returned to Sydney on Saturday 19th March 2011. We wish him well.

Annals Magazine

posted Mar 9, 2011, 8:52 PM by John Lavu

Annals Magazine

Great News! The Annals magazine that used to be published some years ago is being published again. Thanks to Fr Adrian Meaney MSC, Director of the MSC Mission Office in Sydney who, in collaboration with the PNG MSC Administration Office has tasked Mr Sean Donovan, a Lay Missionary from Sydney Australia, to help resurrect this vital publication.

The Annals went out of publication and circulation in 2007 and is now being re-produced. The first edition for this year (2011) is being planned for printing and circulation by this coming Easter (April 2011).

The Annals was and had been one of the effective ways by which the MSCs were able to reach out to the simple people in the rural areas. The mission of spreading and sharing the love of God and the spirituality of the heart was also done through the wider distribution of the Annals. Testimony of this was seen through the Letters to the Editor and the articles that were sent in for inclusion in previous publications. 

Lay Associates are urged to participate in the promotion of and the distribution of the Annals. Support the sales by encouraging people to buy the Annals publications, as they contain very interesting and enriching materials for reading.

Lenten Message to all MSC Lay Associates

posted Mar 6, 2011, 10:08 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Mar 8, 2011, 8:27 PM ]

To:          All MSC Lay Associates

Greetings to you all and your families!

Soon we will begin the Lenten Season this year with Ash Wednesday on the 9th of March. The 40 days of lent that will follow are going to be very crucial to all of us before we enter the Holy Week (17/04 – 23/04/11), when we will commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. Let us prepare ourselves by putting a little more emphasis on our spiritual life, prayer life and social life filled with acts of charity and kindness.

Let the Ash that we receive on Wednesday, also remind us of our own human nature. We are created from the soil by God out of His Love, and that this human body of ours will one day return to its original form – dust. By this then, we should, as our calling requires, share that love of God, not only to those close to us, but to everyone.

Many people out there in the communities need help and we are called by the love of God received in our Baptism, to put our arms out and embrace those in need, with that love. Though we may be busy with our day to day work in our offices, at home, in communities, we should find some time to share “a little of what we have” with those in need. Remember that our love comes from God, and when we put our hands out, we are extending that love of God to those we touch.    

We are all on a journey to the Father, and our journey contains the mission entrusted to us by Christ. We did not choose him, but He chose us (“You did not choose me, for

it was I who chose you....” Jn 15:16) so our call is a choice of God and not ours. Hence, we are therefore, obliged to do as he commands. He opened His heart for us on the cross, and so we are filled by the graces that flowed from that pierced heart, to share that love. 

Let me remind us all again of the need for us to journey with His love during this lent, with the thoughts I shared with you all last year. I hope you still remember these few personal questions:

1)      What can I do to bring me closer to the Sacred Heart during this Lenten Season? Have I asked Him to help me in my journey of Formation in this Spirituality?

2)      How have I tried to improve in my Spiritual life since the previous Lenten period?

3)      What activities will I participate in during the next 40 days to help me grow in order that I could celebrate the Paschal Mystery with my mind and heart renewed?

Let us work on our spiritual lives by striving for growth and renewal during this Lenten season. Let us draw strength and courage from the Compassionate Heart of Christ, pierced on the cross, through prayer, sacrifice and community works.

As Lay Associates, we must grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of His Mother, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in our Formation. This process should give us a better understanding of the true meaning of the Spirituality of the Sacred Heart.

I would like to encourage everyone to follow the assistance and guidance given by the spiritual directors and animators during the process of formation in 2011. This process does and will take time because, we would really like to feel the presence of that compassionate love of God in us, as we share our lives with our families, workmates, friends, strangers, the young and old, the sick and suffering, the marginalized and even those who hate us.  

I wish you all and your families a Grace-filled Lenten Season, a Blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter Celebrations 2011.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Loved Everywhere, Forever! 

John B Lavu

Port Moresby

Launch of new MSC PNG Lay Associates website

posted Feb 16, 2011, 9:57 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Mar 20, 2011, 7:08 PM ]

We are happy to announce that the MSC PNG Lay Associates now have a new website. This was launched to much fanfare and cheering at the MSC PNG Administration centre at 2 MIle Hill, Port Moresby on Thursday 17th February 2011.

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