From the 8th until the 15th of January, 2020, at the Holy Spirit Seminary in Bomana, we had the ongoing formation workshop (retreat) for the young priests (7-15 years) from the dioceses of Papua New Guinea. The workshop was subsidised by Aid to the Church in Need. We had participants from twelve dioceses (Alotau, Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Mendi Mt. Hagen, Rabaul, Wabag, Wewak, Vanimo, Bereina and Kerema). The workshop begun with the Eucharist presided over by the Archbishop of Port Moresby, Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC, DD, KBE. and concluded by the Eucharist celebrated over by the Apostolic Nuncio in PNG & SI, Abp. Kurian M. Vayalunkal.
5 February — Birthday of Fr. Marcin Wrobel CM,
the vice-rector of the Seminary.
7-9 February — Retreat facilitated by Fr. Joseph Galia from the diocese of Kimbe.
11 February — The opening Mass of the new year of formation presided over by the archbishop of Port Moresby, Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC, DD, KBE. After the Mass there was an official ceremony to open the new academic year at Catholic Theological Institute.
15, 22, 29 February — After the evaluation of the formation program at the end of 2019 we introduced some changes in the formation. Among the amendments of the weekly program is the outdoor „down rosary” at 5 pm concluded by the Eucharist.
22-26 February — The Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, Fr. Tomaž Mavrič CM, visited the Vincentians of the International Mission in PNG: at the Holy Spirit Seminary parish in Bomana and confreres working in the diocese of Alotau.
9 March – Invited speaker Prof. Thomas Mooren OFM Cap. presented to our seminarians the main matters of Islam: the Quran, the person of the Prophet, the Caliph institution, the worship of God, the pilgrimage, almsgiving and Ramadan.
11 March – We hosted in our seminary the officers of the Bank of South Pacific, who were opening bank accounts for our seminarians. Having a bank account and payment card became in Papua New Guinea very popular and sometimes necessary because some of the institutions accept payments only by card.
13 March – Sport and recreation is an important element of the human formation. On Fridays, we have the sports games, or as this Friday, we the run or walk on the top of the neighbouring Mount Eriama.
18 March – Meeting of the Episcopal Board – Governing Council of the Holy Spirit Seminary. The members are (from the left): Bp. Roland Santos CM (Alotau), the Chair Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC (Port Moresby), Bp. Donald Lippert OFM Cap. (Mendi), Fr. Marcin Wrobel CM (vice-rector), and Fr. Jacek Tendej CM (rector, taking the picture). The Board listened to the members of the staff of the seminary presenting their reports, discussed them, and made decisions concerning the formation life in the seminary.
19 March – The session with the invited person. This Monday we had a meeting with the lawyer Mr. Michael Wagambi who presented the topic of the will or testament: its importance, way of preparing, structure etc.
21 March – Celebration of the birthday of the bishop of Alotau, Rolando Santos CM, who was with us because of the Episcopal Board meeting.
5 April – Palm Sunday procession with palms and the Eucharist was presided by Fr. Marceliano Oabel CM – spiritual director of the seminary. This year the celebrations of all Holy Week were more modest, because of the restrictions of the State of Emergency connected with the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus.
10 April – Good Friday’s morning stations of the Cross in the compound of the seminary.
11 April – Easter Vigil with the blessing of the new fire and renewal of the baptismal promises and morning resurrection Eucharist, presided by vice-rector of the seminary and Fr. Jacek Tendej CM, rector of the seminary.
13 April – After the liturgical celebration of Holy Week and Easter Sunday, we had a joyful community picnic with a social program and a good food.
13 May – The academic program of the seminary was a little disturbed this year because of the changes made at the Catholic Theological Institute that were caused by the State of Emergency and lockdown connected with the pandemic of Covid-19. We had only three days of term break. On the first day we went to a splendid place – Manubada Island located on the Papuan Bay, not far from the downtown of Port Moresby. We extremely enjoyed the time swimming, walking around the island, admiring the view (also of the town of the capital of the country), and having good lunch coked on the place.
13 May – On the last day of the short term break we could enjoy the time of dinner having pizza.
30 May – After the morning Mass we blessed the new candlesticks for our chapel sanctuary made by our seminarians John Bosco Mangurei with his collaborators.
30 May – Preparation for the traditional MUMU, the seminarians brought the pig and banana leaves needed to cook the pig in the pit on the hot stones.
31 May – We celebrated the patronal feast of the Holy Spirit Seminary – the Pentecost. The Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Michael Tomaszewski SVD, the prefect of the students at the Divine Word College. In the afternoon we had a social program with talks and dances, concluded with a dinner with the MUMU pig, a traditional sign of feasting.
7 June – During the State of Emergency and lockdown connected with Covid-19, NBC television broadcasts the celebration of the Eucharist from the studio. Our seminarians were asked to perform the liturgical songs for this Mass presided by Fr. Jan Czuba SVD. Link to the recorded celebration.
8 June – PNG is a country that belongs to the Commonwealth and every year we celebrate Queen Elisabeth’s birthday. This year we had a relaxing time having a picnic and games in the gorgeous Adventure Park.
8 June – During the dinner the same day, the 15 seminarians with the best study marks average received an award.
10 June – Every Wednesday at 6 AM we have morning prayer and Bible sharing in small groups. The priests are also joining this prayer in different corners of the seminary complex.
15 June – Our visiting speaker to the seminarians was Sister Margaret Mary FMI. After meeting all the seminarians, she will be coming to the seminary on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to have the individual meetings as a counselor for our seminarians.
17 June-22 July – On every Wednesday of this period our seminarians had a solemn dinner in the six small groups with the rector. After eating the home prepared food there was the time to talk and look at pictures.
26 June – The election of the new student representatives. The new executives are: Adrian Meuka (Wewak) – the President, Alphonse Penga (Kimbe) – the vice-president and John Wai (CSMA) – the secretary.
4 July – The handover of the seminarian executives with the words of thanksgiving and promises.
5 July – Newly appointed bishop of Kimbe John Bosco Auram celebrated Sunday Mass in our church and had a meeting with the seminarians.
10 July – Our seminarians visited the National Museum in Port Moresby.
13 July – Formative meeting with Fr. John Willio MSC, the former pastoral vicar of the Archdiocese of Port Moresby and Provincial of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, about the pastoral challenges of the Church in Papua New Guinea.
15 July – Bishop John Bosco Auram from Kimbe installed 14 new lectors: from Diocese of Kimbe: William Bai, Benedict Polei; Archdiocese of Rabaul: Francis Tina; Archdiocese of Madang: Martin Dulau, Benedict Kissu, Alex Muariga, Constantine Ruarri, Eugene Sakat, Wanceslaus Wirrie; MSC: George Meli, Hendrick, Qoqletkop David Sivedidi Patrick Tangalel; SMM: Godwin Dalle.
29 July – Goodwill Construction started restructuring the library, and constructing the new multimedia studio designed for watching movies and for training the seminarians for public speaking and delivering homilies. The project is financed by Missio Aachen from Germany.
29 July – Solemn dinner with seminary staff, ancillary staff, and visiting priests.
5 August – Morning Mass with the seminarians presided by Fr. Jeremiah Paraha, from the diocese of Bereina, an alumnus of the Holy Spirit Seminary. Fr. Jeremiah presently works in Woitape in Goilala region. He couldn’t fly back to his parish because of the lockdown caused by the corona virus, so he was obliged to spent some weeks in the seminary.
9 August – Birthday of Fr. Marceliano Oabel, the spiritual director of the seminary. The celebrant himself prepared many delicious dishes for the community.
13 August – During the second term break all of our community was locked down in the seminary, so we went only to Sogeri to have some fun and joy while free from study: we swam, jumped into the water and visited the parish church of St. Gregory.
16-26 August – Sport games and competition in rugby, soccer and athletics. Seminarian were divided into 4 groups to compete for 3 rector’s cups. All the games and sports activities took 4 days and were concluded by the ceremony of the presentation of the cups.
24 August – Our 52-member seminary community joined deacon Gerard Miria from the diocese of Bereina. After a road accident he retook the one term formation attending also some courses at the Catholic Theological Institute. He is preparing to receive the priestly ordination.
4-5 September – Recollection day facilitated by Fr. Cletus Varghese, the parish priest from Cape Rodney.
14 September – Meeting with invited speaker Mr Paul Harriknen, a lawyer present for the two days before Independence Day. The theme: “Catholic Church and the Constitution - Why the Constitution matters for Catholics; challenges to the Constitution; clergy-laity relationship, church-state partnership.
16 September – This year the celebration of the Independence Day (45th) was more modest because of the restrictions of the pandemic act.
27 September – St Vincent de Paul Day. After the morning Eucharist and evening dinner, the celebration was concluded by some dances performed by the seminarians.
October – Each day of October we pray the rosary in Our Lady’s grotto. All the volunteer seminarians are giving a short reflection based on Mary and different aspects of the New Evangelization.
2-3 October – Seminary community pilgrimage to Kubuna, a pastoral station founded by French missionaries in the twentieth century. We enjoyed being together and visiting different buildings of the station, especially the tomb of the Venerable Bp Alain De Boismenu, founder of the centre and presently a candidate for beatification.
13 October – We celebrated the birthday of Fr. Peter Chanel Silong, the Pastoral Director of the seminary.
14 October – The second annual meeting of the Episcopal Board of the Holy Spirit Seminary. The members are (from the left): Fr. Marcin Wrobel CM (vice-rector), Fr. Joseph Vnuk OP (president of the CTI), Bp. Roland Santos CM (Alotau), the Chair Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC (Port Moresby), Bp. Donald Lippert OFM Cap. (Mendi) and Fr. Jacek Tendej CM (rector, taking the picture). The four members of the staff presented the annual reports and evaluation of the formation in the seminary: pastoral and spiritual directors, vice-rector and rector. (On the picture: Fr. Peter Silong (Kimbe) presents the pastoral director report).
14 October – Bishop Roland Santos CM from the diocese of Alotau instituted three seminarians as acolytes: William Bai and Benedict Polei from Kimbe and Francis Tina from Rabaul.
1 November – At the afternoon, the archbishop of Port Moresby, Sir John M. Cardinal Ribat MSC, DD, KBE, presided over the ceremony of the opening and blessing of the new audio-visual studio. The main purpose of this modern hall is to watch movies in the high quality projection and train the seminarians in homily delivering and public speaking. The studio was financed by Missio Aachen and constructed by Goodwill Constructor.
11 November – To conclude of the year of formation, the Eucharist was presided over by Sir John Card Ribat, MSC, followed by a formal dinner. During the event graduating seminarians from theology (9) and philosophy (18) received the certificate of completion and a souvenir, a solar lamp with the capability to charge a mobile phone, something that is very practical for pastoral activity in the remote areas.