Papua New Guinea


ACN Project of the Week – Supporting the family apostolate in Papua New Guinea

08.05.2019 in ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Family Apostolate, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea 

Support for the family apostolate in the diocese of Wabag

Papua New Guinea is the largest and most populous country in Oceania. It also has one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet as well as the most diversity of human societies and cultures, with a total of some 830 different spoken languages.

Most of its 5 million inhabitants follow Christianity today, and roughly half of these are Catholics – though Christianity was in many cases introduced only a few generations ago and is in some cases not deeply rooted in the culture.

Many people in Papua New Guinea have found it difficult to adjust to the extremely rapid social developments associated with the modern information age, while the State in many regions seems unable to fulfill even its most basic duties. The consequences have included a sense of social uprootedness, extensive crime, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and child abuse. The Church is therefore focusing very much upon the family apostolate, since this is the only way to bring about improvement.

In the diocese of Wabag, the work with families is likewise a major priority. Conditions are difficult, however. The diocese is poor and many of the priests also have to support themselves by growing their own food, in addition to carrying out their priestly duties. Most of the faithful live in remote and inaccessible mountain regions, and the parishes are vast, with numerous outstations, while the roads are often nearly impassable. In order to be able to reach as many of the Catholic faithful as possible, there are 13 diocesan committees which operate pastoral and social activities in the parishes, thereby covering almost every area of social life.

Training is also offered to members of the laity that they in turn can carry on the same work independently later on. Along with all this work, the improvement of the practical living circumstances of the people goes hand in hand to deepen and strengthen their faith. ACN has committed to supporting this extensive pastoral outreach program for a period of three years. Our contribution for this year is $45,000.

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ACN Success Story – Thank you for the Mass intentions in Papua New Guinea!

28.02.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, Adaptation Mario Bard, Catholic priests, International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Journey with ACN, Mass Offerings, Papua New Guinea, Priests

Papua New Guinea

Success Story – Thank you for your Mass intentions!

The 26 priests of the diocese of Wabag, in central Papua New Guinea, are very grateful to you for the 2,025 Mass Intentions that you have provided. Bishop Arnold Orowae appealed to us for help last year, since his diocese is very poor and his priests are forced to supplement their income by growing their own food in order to support themselves. At the same time, they have to minister to vast parishes with numerous outstations in this remote and difficult mountain terrain.


The long distances they have to travel include negotiating sometimes almost impassable tracks. Yet they still minister unfailingly to the 75,000 Catholic faithful of the diocese, visiting the sick, counselling and accompanying families, travelling to remote outstations to say Mass and administer the Sacraments, providing religious education and celebrating Holy Mass in the schools, organizing retreats for children, young people, altar servers and catechists.


Since the Year of Mercy, there has also been an increase in the number of people seeking the Sacrament of Confession, which, of course, takes up much of the priests‘ time. In many places there has also been an intensification in Eucharistic adoration. Feast days and holy days are celebrated with great festivities. For example, each parish prepares for its own patronal feast with a novena, and during October, the month of the Rosary, there are processions in all communities where there is a chapel. So it is that the priests are tirelessly on the go.


In this situation the Mass Intentions of our benefactors are an immense support. There is no question here of “paying” for the Holy Mass, but there is a long tradition in the Church of asking priests to celebrate Mass for a particular intention – for example a deceased loved one – and in return giving a gift that is in no sense a “payment” but rather a gesture of love and gratitude and material support on the part of the giver. Bishop Orowae writes to tell us that “All my priests are most grateful for the Mass Intentions they have received and gladly celebrate Holy Mass for the intentions of those who have given them.”


Your Mass stipends not only help to support the priests themselves but also enable them to provide for some of the needs of their parishes, for example by providing hosts and altar wine or helping to maintain and worthily furnish some of the chapels in the remotest communities.


May our Lord bless all who have helped!

If you wish to have a mass celebrated, just click on the red button and offer your Mass intentions via Aid to the Church in Need.  Thank you!


Journey with ACN – Papua New Guinea

29.11.2013 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN Canada, ACN PROJECTS, Papua New Guinea, Uncategorized

JOURNEY WITH ACN is our Friday newsletter which will be regularly posted to our blog.  

Our weekly newsletter was designed to provide us with an opportunity to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and with some of the projects we have been able to realize together with ACN benefactors.

This week:  Papua New Guinea

Support for the pastoral program of the Archdiocese of Port Moresby

By ACN International

Adapted by AB Griffin, ACN Canada

Papua New Guinea covers an area roughly the same size as Spain, though it has just 6.7 million inhabitants. The territory also extends over more than 600 islands, which can only be reached by air or by boat. Where it is not possible to travel by air, by boat or by car, the priests and pastoral workers have to travel on foot. This is also the case when travelling to the Archdiocese of Port Moresby, which was established in November 1966. Since then. not only has the number of Catholics grown steadily in Papua New Guinea, but the social importance of the Catholic Church in the area has greatly increased.

Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, is something of a melting pot. Having grown steadily over the years, it is now home to people from a number of different origins and ethnicities, cultures and religious persuasions, as well as languages spoken.

“The 600,000 or so inhabitants, of whom many are Catholics, come from every part of the country, as well as from neighbouring countries and from overseas,” emphasizes Archbishop John Ribat. Since taking office in March 2008, he has launched a pastoral program that continues to operate to this day. “In order to prevent this variety from degenerating into division, we want to strengthen the sense of togetherness within the archdiocese and build on the spirit of solidarity among the faithful and their priests, and between the various parishes and other pastoral groupings,” he adds.

There are an estimated 300,000 Catholics living in the Archdiocese of Port Moresby. This number is but an estimate because there are no reliable statistics. The diocese is subdivided into 19 parishes and also maintains 100 primary and secondary schools, as well as two hospitals. In some cases the distances between the individual parishes are considerable. In the past there was little contact between the various parish priests on account of the very poor infrastructure. But now, and at the express wish of the priests themselves, all the 70 priests of the diocese (roughly 2 of 3  belonging to religious congregations) regularly meet at the archbishop’s house to exchange ideas and experiences.

“As a result, the understanding of the various demands on the pastoral ministry in the parishes has grown, whether in the country or in the town,” the archbishop reports.

There is also closer co-operation and coordination between other initiatives within the archdiocese such as : a service of medical volunteers helping in the field of health care for mothers and their children and in alcohol prevention; this, according to the vicar general, Father Roderigo Campilan, is supporting hundreds of people and benefiting thousands of others. A coordinator for Catholic education who will supervise the teaching of the faith and the religious instruction has also been appointed, both for the Church schools and state schools.

ACN is supporting this three-year pastoral program with a contribution of $54 000.