January – February 2021

Since 16th November 2020, the day when the seminarians left for Christmas holidays, we have in our seminary a group of the youth from Bomana Parish who provide the security for the seminary buildings and compound, protecting from the unwanted visits of the neighbouring rascals. They also have social and formation activities as: Mass, morning prayer, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, spiritual conferences, sports, recreation outside. We celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Day together, and at the end they received a letter of appreciation and solar lamp. We called them Summer Seminarians. They did their service. very well and effectively In January six of them decided to become real seminarians. Two for the archdiocese of Port Moresby, three – Vincentian Fathers and one – Dominican.

1-5 February — After the Christmas holidays, our seminarians arrived at the seminary. For this formation year we have 53 seminarians from 12 dioceses of PNG and from the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel (CSMA). After two introductory days, the annual spiritual retreat facilitated by bishop of Kimbe, John Bosco Auram, who is a very spiritual man and knows the seminary life well, being the formator at Holy Spirit Seminary in 2013-14 and the rector at Rapolo Sacred Heart Seminary in 2019.

6 February — Solemn opening of the formation year 2021 with the Eucharist celebrated over by Archbishop of Mount Hagen Douglas Young and dinner with social program.

8 February — Inauguration of the academic year at Catholic Theological Institute. Mass was presided over by His Eminence Sir John M. Cardinal Ribat, MSC, DD, KBE and the opening talk, by outgoing Apostolic Nuncio Abp. Kurian M. Vayalunkal.

19 February – Each Friday of the Lent we celebrate the Stations of the Cross in our chapel, meditating of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

26 February — On the afternoons and evenings of all Fridays of the formation year we have time for community recreation: visiting interesting places (as recently the Nature Park), playing soccer, rugby, volleyball, badminton, and indoor games as table tennis, darts, and beginning on 26 February a new game also – snooker (billiards).

27 February – At the beginning of the formation year the new executives of the seminarians were elected. During the morning outdoor Mass we celebrated the official handover of the outgoing (Adrian Meuka) and incoming Bernard Saka) seminarians’ presidents with the words of thanksgiving and promises.

28 February – During the Sunday dinner we celebrated two events: with 5 minutes of silence we venerated and thanked God for the Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare, father of the independent Papua New Guinea, who passed away and was born to eternal life. Four seminarians shared their memory and experience of Sir Michael. On the second part we celebrated the birthdays of the seminarians born in December, January and February.

February – On the abandoned place of ruined car workshop, we built (using good old concrete surface) the new tennis and volleyball court. The work done by Goodwill Constructors was finished in December. When the seminarians and priests came back after Christmas break they could use this new sport facility.

Obituary – Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare.
With the death Sir Michael Thomas Somare the Pacific has lost one of its most prominent and respected leaders. Sir Michael Thomas Somare (9 April 1936 – 26 February 2021), he led Papua New Guinea to independence in 1975. He was became longest-serving member of parliament and prime minister.

View message from the seminarians of Holy Spirits Seminary.

March 2021

Sundays – On all the Sundays since February our seminarians have been going with the priests to the small communities of the Holy Name of Jesus Bomana Parish and preparing the candidates for the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Marriage.

Laloki

Nebiri

1 March — After 14 days of quarantine and receiving the clearance certificates, three Daughters of Charity from Manila are coming back to their mission in Hagita School in Milne Bay, had a pastoral meeting with our seminarians, and are presenting their work in the diocese of Alotau.

10 March — Holy Spirit Seminary Episcopal Board meeting presided by bishop Donald Lippert (the chair Sir John M. Cardinal Ribat was busy with the preparation of the funeral Mass of the Grand Chief and Father of the Nation, Sir Michael Somare). The members on the picture from the left: Fr. Joseph Vnuk OP, Bp. Rolando Santos, Fr. Peter Chanel Silong (new member), Bp. Donald Lippert and Fr. Jacek Tendej CM.

10 March — Alotau seminarian Dominic Dottie received a clerical vestment (cassock) from his bishop Rolando Santos during the evening seminary Mass.

21 March — Celebration of 29th anniversary of the priestly ordination of our spiritual director Fr. Marceliano Oabel and remembering 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, the country of Fr. Marceliano.

27 March – Outside morning Rosary and Eucharist presided by the spiritual director.

28 March — Palm Sunday procession and Eucharist celebrated in the seminary and other parish chapels where our priests and seminarians are going for Sunday pastoral activities.

30 March — Chrism Mass presided by the archbishop of Port Moresby Sir John M. Cardinal Ribat, MSC, DD, KBE. Before the Eucharist, the archbishop blessed and imposed the cassocks on two of his seminarians: Mathew Timbalu and Raphael Gobi.

April 2021

1 April – On Maundy Thursday; Fr. Marceliano Oabel CM, our Spiritual Director, was the main celebrant. After the communion he brought the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose accompanied by seminarians. How many times in the scriptures do we hear of Jesus going off to pray? The primary message seems to be the importance of praying, of raising one’s heart, mind, and spirit to God. Praying was a way for Jesus to momentarily retreat from the situation at hand and ground himself in his Father’s love. He often chose places in the natural world, mountains, hillsides, seashores and then the garden at Gethsemane. The seminarians spend time with the Lord in prayer and silence till midnight before they retire to rest.

2 April – On Good Friday at 6 am we began the Stations of the Cross with station one at the school field and ending with station 14 in front of the chapel. Each year levels were assigned with two stations to lead with. Then in the afternoon we had the celebration of the veneration of the Cross, for which Fr. Jacek Tendej was the presider. The atmosphere was peaceful and silent because in our lives we experience renewal and loss and hope and discouragement. This is the rhythm of life, the very nature of our existence. The Cross of Christ has shown us the unconditional love of God to us mankind.

3 April – At the Easter vigil Fr. Peter Silong was the main celebrant, and the celebration began with a big bonfire to indicate that the light has come. Within the celebration we were privileged to welcome one infant and one toddler as the children of God and also the members of the Catholic Church through the sacrament of baptism. The choir was so beautiful and lovely because of the enthusiastic and angelic voices of our seminarians and the congregations. Let me quote what St. John Paul II said, “Alleluia is our song because we are Easter people.” True indeed! The Lord is risen as he said, and we now joined the universe in celebrating his mystery.

4 April – Let me begin by reiterating what St. John Paul II said, „Alleluia is our song because we are Easter people.” For forty day of fasting you can fill the breaking the silence with the assurance of what our Lord had said. So no more time for fasting and weeping, but it is the time for feasting. When it is the time of feasting there are plenty food and wine to be served for the night. We began our celebration with the Eucharistic celebration, then it was followed by the preparation of our solemn dinner in the evening. The food prepared was so delicious with wine served to commemorate the celebration.

6 April – Fr. Jaceks Tendej CM (Rector) and seminarian Joseph Aria, who is in charge of the library, installed the study lights. The splendid and tranquil setting of the library made the seminarians to feel the abiding presence of God and the purpose for their studies to the priesthood. When the seminarians entered the library for studies and to read, they were amazed and gave benevolent smiles because of the loving atmosphere of the library.

25 April – On Good Shepherd Sunday, the Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Bomana, in Archdiocese hosted the vocational awareness program. They invited each religious community and the Holy Spirit Seminary community to go and talk about the vocation to the priesthood and religious life. On behalf of the community, Fr. Jacek Tendej CM (Rector), together with our three seminarians attended the ceremony. The seminarians shared to the young people about the life of a seminarian in the seminary and afterwards as a priest in the diocese. The event concluded with the adoration and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

25 April – Let me began by quoting Kerry Washington, „Your life is your story and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” As per our program in the seminary, every end of the month we usually celebrate the birthday of our brother seminarians. We thank God for the gift of their life to the community by sharing meals and the cutting of their birthday cake. Fr. Jeack Tendej, our Rector, on behalf of the community, presented to them a birthday gift and invited them to cut the birthday cake.

28 April – On the Feast of St. Peter Chanel the Eucharistic celebration was in the evening as per our program where we usually have Masses for Wednesdays. It was a solemn celebration because our Vice-Rector for pastoral affairs, Fr. Peter Chanel Silong celebrated his feast day. He was the main celebrant, and he shared with us the life of St. Peter Chanel and encouraged us to be open to the spirit of God as St. Peter Chanel was. After the Eucharistic celebration we had also a simple solemn dinner, and Fr. Jacek Tendej our Rector invited Fr. Peter Chanel Silong to cut the cake for his feast day.

May 2021

1 May – Break the silence! After a month on lockdown and also the end of term exams of the first semester we decide to celebrate by feasting. We commence the day with the Sunday Eucharistic celebration and then followed by preparation of food. Music of all sorts was played to keep the seminarians active by doing barbecue and cooking some delicious dishes. Dinner was served at 5 pm sharp and followed by a speech from Fr. Rector and our Spiritual Director. There were lots of laughter and benevolent smiles on the faces of seminarians because of jokes and different dancing styles.

6 May – Our first semester break came in style as we went for an outing at Crystal Rapid Park which is 34 kilometers outside of the Port Moresby in the Central Province. The day was awesome with lots of swimming and laughter just to relax the mind and body after the fatigue of the studies. After the lunch we had to leave to visit the other places within the vicinity like our Catholic parish and the school just beside the road.

13 May – For our second outing of the term break we went to Manubada Island which is outside of downtown Port Moresby. Manubada in Motu means big bird. We commenced the day with the morning Eucharistic celebration and afterward we went, in three vehicles, to a village, Vabukori. Then we got on the dingy and enjoyed the trip by sea which is 6 kilometers away from the mainland. When we arrived, most of the seminarians made a tour around the island. The sea was crystal clear and the weather was so pleasant that we enjoyed the day with swimming and some fun games. We had lunch, and after that we continued swimming and playing, and the day was very awesome with laughter and dancing to the beats of music.

23 May

As the Universal Church celebrated her birth, we here at the Holy Spirit Seminary joined it. In the morning we had the solemn Eucharist. The main celebrant was Fr. Mathew Shoji SDB, with con-celebrants Fr. Jacek Tendej CM, and our formators. After the celebration we invited the congregation to light refreshments prepared by the kitchen crew. In the evening we had a solemn dinner. Our seminarians from the highlands regions prepared a roasted pig. When His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat arrived, we begin the solemn dinner. Christopher Abma, our master of ceremony, invited Fr. Marceliano Oabel CM, to say the prayer, and after Fr. Jacek our Rector invited the Cardinal to cut the pig, the feasting began. After the dinner there were items presented from our seminarians and our auxiliary staff’s children. The night was very remarkable, and we all enjoyed the evening concluded by the closing prayer by Fr. Peter Silong.

26 May – Let me begin with a quote from St. John Bosco: “The greatest gift from a family to God is a son who is a priest or a daughter a nun.” As per our schedule we had the Eucharistic celebration in the evening, and Fr. Jacek Tendej, our Rector, who is celebrating his 30th Anniversary of priesthood, was the main celebrant. In his homily Fr. Rector shared with us the life of St. Philip Neri and encouraged us to be open to the will of God. After the Mass we had a dinner where the master of the ceremonies invited Fr. Jacek to cut the cake to commemorate the day of his ordination. The evening very lovely with items presented by the seminarians who also presented gifts to Fr. Jacek with words of gratitude.

31 May – Henri Nouwen, reminds us: „It is important to celebrate birthdays because it means to say to someone: Thank you for being you and being among us.” As per our schedule we usually celebrate the birthdays of seminarians who were born in May (from the left: Steven Pup, Philip Totone, Bernard Tohian, Matthew Timbalu and Hans Gende). The evening commenced with dinner. After the dinner, Fr. Rector invited the birthday celebrants to cut their birthday cake, and then he presented each one with a gift.