Plotinus in the Jungle

Mt Giluwe, the Return

In this post, I conclude my (almost) summit of Mt. Giluwe from last year.  My third day on the mountain consisted of rising before dawn so that we could get off the mountain in time for me to catch my plane back to Moresby.

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Sunrise from near our bush house. On the left is Mt. Hagen, which I went up with Annie 4 years ago.

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The morning light through the trees was dazzling.

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We gradually walked out of the forested mountain slop and into a mix of towering grass land and clumps of trees. 

 

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The local people built steps in the steep muddy part because they had thought that the Archbishop was going to come with me.

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A small spring. The water was cold and delicious.

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A number of village youths had come with us.  They had borrowed my headlamp to catch a cuscus which they ate for dinner.  They were very happy that we shared our food with them.

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A kaukau mound.

Fr. Andrew drove us back to Hagen.  After a quick shower and shave, he took me to the airport.  I walked to a nearby restaurant, McRoyal, that I used to go to when I lived in Jiwaka.  Alas, my favorite item, the moussaka, was off the menu.  They had added a number of noble birds in a far too small cage.

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He looks so sad . . . and perhaps a bit like Odo from DS9?

On the whole, I was quite happy that I tried Giluwe despite not being physically up for it.  I miss being among the people and mountains of Papua New Guinea.  Spending time with my guides reminded me of the simple strength and generosity of the PNG people, which makes it such a privilege to work in their country.

Mt Giluwe, part 2

Let me resume my account of my almost summit of Mt. Giluwe, which took place last year early July.  We awoke early before dawn and started on our way.  Once again, it was clear that I would not be able to keep up with my friend Fr. Andrew Falat SVD, who lives and works at a parish in the highest mountain range in PNG.  So we split up – I went with a local catechist named Matthew.

The day began rainy and misty.  We walked up through tracts of grassland between tracts of stunted rainforest.  At one point there was a sizable swamp that we had to carefully navigate.  Eventually we reaches a tremendous plateau full of its own ridge lines, ponds, and wildflowers.  The sun came out intermittently.

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The people set up crosses at large intervals to mark the way.  Note that I am above the clouds.

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That rocky point is the near summit of the mountain.  I was deceived into thinking that it was nearby; it would be another 6 hours before I reached it.

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Beautiful yellow flowers.

Not accurately judging the distance to the summit, I asked my guide if we could detour to a prominent looking hilltop.  Later I realized that there were many such hilltops.  Still climbing up this one gave me a good view of landscape.  We also reached an abandoned radio tower, which had apparently been vandalized many years ago by the locals.

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It was quiet, eerily gorgeous world.  Almost no wildlife, only water, rock, grass, shade, and sun. 

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The fallen tower

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View from the top of the radio tower hill.

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An example of the rocky hillocks that littered the plateau.

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I could hear the roaring of this waterfall, but this was as close as I came to it.

Eventually we began going up the last hillock before the summit.  You may remember that I had had dengue just a week or so before this trip.  The weakness connected with the altitude and a lack of fitness mean that I was continuously having to stop to catch my breath.  But the weather was good and I was determined to go as far as I could.

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The last hill before the top.

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View from the last hilltop

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From the last hill looking toward the near summit.

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These dark berries grew abundantly up on the plateau.  Sadly, they are about 1% as edible as blueberries . . .

In the last picture with the summit in the background, you can see that the summit lies on a ridge line.  Beyond that ridge line is a deep mountain valley that cuts the Giluwe plateau in two.  The summit itself is also cut in two, and the guides claimed that both sides are the same height.  In the local language, the side I was going up was called “place where dogs sleep” whereas “Giluwe” properly referred to the summit on the other side and may be the name of the traditional spirit of the mountain.  Our side is accessible from Hagen whereas the other side is accessible from Mendi.  To do both sides properly would require a three night trip and walking from Western Highlands to South Highlands.

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Looking down into the valley that divides the mountain.

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My guide, Matthew, is the short one on my right. He is wearing one of my shirts (see the plaid?)

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A view into the valley from the base of the summit

At this point, I met Fr. Andrew and his guides.  They had summitted in the sunshine and were now on their way back.  It was about 1 pm.  There was some concern about afternoon showers, but it had been intermittently cloudy and drizzling all day, so I still wanted to try to reach the top.

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Past this swampy field was the final ascent.  One explorer wanted to name the mountain “Mt Mineret”, but Mick Leahy, the first outsider to climb it, insisted on the local name.

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The white and yellow flowers were more vivid in person.

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This is looking backwards towards the hill with the radio tower on it.

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Sheltered by a large rock, these flowers were flourishing.

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We ascended up an increasing narrow tract of grass with great rocks and cliffs on all sides.

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That rocky bastion is the top. We approached from the left and ended up behind it.

As we reached the top, it began to rain and then sleet.  Visibility became erratic.  I had brought warm clothes, but I had to share them with my guide who was barefoot and in shorts!  The top was a series of rocky outcroppings connected by narrow and steep bridges.  There were sheer drops to the left and right.  I reached the second-highest point and my guide congratulated me for having summitted Giluwe.  There was a slightly higher point further on, but with the cold and sleet and the vertigo of being surrounded by cliff faces, I decided to turn around.  If I slipped going up to the last point, the results would have disastrous.  Turning back was obviously the right decision, but it was hard for me as I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return.

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99.99% of Giluwe climbed!

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The final highpoint during a brief break in the sleet and cloud.  Only for the sure-footed!

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Here I am looking across the valley that splits Giluwe in two.  There is a rocky outcropping in the middle of the valley.  “Giluwe” proper is on the other side.

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A departing view of the top ridge line.  I was on the outcropping on the left.  I did not get up the bald peak.

The way back was hard going, retracing our steps in the sleet and freezing rain.  The only sound was our footprints and the patter of precipitation on my hood.

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Here I coming down from the plateau in the tracts of grassland and stunted jungle.  My camp is on the other side of the far hill.  At the base of the hill is a large swamp.

I ended up returning to our bush house long after dark.  All told, I walked from 5 am to about 10 pm.  Fr. Andrew only took about half as long.  I thoroughly enjoyed our second foil meal.  Despite my weariness, the smoke of the cooking fire and a leaking roof made for a rough night.

Still I am most thankful for having visited a place so close to heaven.

Mt Giluwe, Part 1

Last year at the beginning of July, I had the pleasure of attending the Melanesian Association of Theological Schools conference at Christian Leaders Training College, which is an Evangelical college only 15 minutes from Good Shepherd seminary.  I made plans beforehand to leave the conference a day early and hike up Mt. Giluwe, the second highest mt in PNG with my old hiking buddy Fr. Andrew Falat SVD.  The two weeks before the conference, I was sick with dengue fever.  As my hiking plans were already made, I decided to give Giluwe a try, as I did not know when I would have the chance again.

I enjoyed seeing some old colleagues at the conference.  Unfortunately, my paper on St. Thomas as a model for synthesizing faith and reason in understanding the doctrine of creation was pitched too high and many people did not understand it.

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This is the President of CTI, Joseph Vnuk, who was the outgoing MATS President. Watching him is Maxon Mani, the current MATS President.

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This is my colleague, Fr. Modest Eligi of Tanzania. He was explaining some basic principles of Natural Theology.

At the MATS business meeting, I volunteered to take the minutes.  We elected a new executive.  I turned down the nomination for President (I probably would not have won the vote, and I am happy that it is Maxon), but I ended up as Secretary/Treasurer!

Andrew picked me up before dawn on July 4th and dropped me off at Good Shepherd so that I could attend mass.  I saw a lot of my former students.  I nearly cried, with all the memories of having been there for 4.5 years.

We then drove to Hagen town to buy some food and leave behind the non-essentials.  Then we went to the Tambul region which is a mountainous area between Hagen, Wabag, and Mendi.  Our destination was an outstation at Kiripia parish, where Andrew had arranged for a guide.

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Fr Andrew in front of the main church.

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Me with a local catechist in the main sanctuary.

The main church was quite nice.  There had been a long-serving American missionary priest, Fr. Joe Bisson, who had built up the parish.  He retired about 4 years ago.

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A depiction of Mary and Jesus. The yellow crescents are kina shells.

An unexpected site at Kiripia parish was that some Mary statues were exuding liquids that were claimed to be tears, oil, and blood.  I mostly played with the baby while Fr. Andrew investigated.

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The statutes originally each went in a classroom at the school, this is simply a storage area for them.  The bottles contain the various liquids.

Next was the outstation itself.  The people enthusiastically greeted us.  A group of young men and boy accompanied us on the hike.  They insisted on carrying our bags for us.

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In PNG, most people lack cars, so each community has a small church and the priest drives to them.

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First we walked through grasslands to reach the rain forest.

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Abp Doug Young of Mt Hagen had originally planned to come with us. So the people had prepared the trail and decorated it with markers like this every 100 yards or so.

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The group that stayed with me.

Andrew and were pretty mismatched as hikers.  His parish is in the mountains towards Mt. Wilhelm, so he walks the Highlands like everyday.  I’ve been living on the coast, work in an office, and I just had dengue.  I got winded easily.  So I proposed that we split up as Andrew walked about twice as fast as me.

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Beautiful pandanus trees

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The entrance that the people made for the area around the shelter.  Note that it is getting dark.

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Here is where we stayed for two nights. I think that it was newly built.

We stayed in a traditionally made bush house.  There is a fire in the middle, but the smoke is supposed to simply seep out the thatched roof, which makes almost unbearably smokey inside.  Still it was warm and dry.

I had bought materials to make foil meals (hobo meals) – potatoes, brocoli, zucchini, canned meat.  No one else, even Fr. Andrew, had prepared a meal like that before.  They were a big hit.  Andrew marveled at how tasty they were.

Tobiah is 4!

Tobiah turned 4 a few weeks ago! On the day of his birthday we went to an indoor playground, to jump in the ball pit and fix the play kitchen with pretend tools.

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On the weekend we went to Tutu beach resort, as he requested, for a barbeque. From there we took a short but exciting boat ride to Lion island, where we explored and swam on the white sandbar.

Tobiah’s favorite colors are brown and black. His favorite astronomical objects are the moons of Mars. His favorite Aboriginal legend is the rainbow snake. His favorite food is carrots. Other favorites are the classics: sticks, tree climbing,  toy cars, construction, Richard Scarry. He will be glad when his partner in crime, Tabitha, is home for summer vacation in a week. If Pippi is crying he will share a hotwheel car with her to cheer her up. He is the kid most likely to just sit and think for a while.

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We love you, Tobiah! 4 will be a great year!

Annie and Tabby Processing

This is the year of the laity for the Catholic Church, so there is an extra emphasis on lay people being involved in the Sunday liturgy.  About two month ago, Annie and Tabby joined the local kids in the entrance procession.

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As radiant as the sun!  Note the ankle bilas.

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Dancing in church. This is the sanctuary of the diocesan seminary. It’s packed every Sunday.

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Dancing up at the front of the sanctuary. On the left is the tabernacle, which is modeled after the spirit houses in the Sepik region.

The girls have not really been in any sing-sings in Moresby, but between school and church, they are still dancing.

Varirata National Park

Today we went on a hike a Varirata National Park up in the mountains northeast of Port Moresby with our friends the Aspins.  This post, however, is of pictures from our first trip to Varirata about three months ago.

The road up the mountains is a winding, narrow road with some hairpin turns.  Unlike the highlands highway, it is completely paved.  The views on the way up are amazing – towering cliffs on both sides of a narrow river valley.  The park itself has good roads, numerous camping sites, and decently maintained trails.

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With our friends Fr. Marcin (left) and Fr. Jacek (right), Vincentian priests from Poland.  This is the main lookout point, which is accessible by car and can be crowded at times.

We had a picnic lunch at the lookout.

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This was Perpetua’s third big hike – we took her up Mt. Erima and Mt. Lalokai before.

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CTI is in the upper right, near the hill with the pointy top.  It’s hard to see. 

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Ocean!  The downtown of Port Moresby is in the far distance.

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66% of my family is looking in the general direction of the camera . . .

From the lookout, we went on a 2.5 km trail that went along the edge of the ridge.  I was surprised that it was a lot of up and down (I was carrying Tobiah!).  We passed two other lookouts, which were nice, but not as good as the first.  The third one was great and had a better view of the ocean, but it was hazy . . .

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Tabitha is standing well in front of the 400 ft drop.

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More ocean! We go to beaches on the far distance point fairly regularly.

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Back row (right to left): Matt and Devine (New Zealand), April (Canada) w/ Hadasseh and Marco (Chile), Marcin (Poland).  Non-Zimmermans in the bottom row: April (CTI’s English teacher from Carlisle, PA), Marco’s mom (Chile). 

From here, it was about a 2 km walk to a parking lot that we had shuttled a car too.  All in all, it was great day and hike.

This post is dedicated to our friends, April, Marco, and Hadassah, who have moved to Winnipeg so that April and Marco can train as ministers in the Salvation Army.  We miss them dearly.

April Birthdays

I’ve been buried alive by administrative work, but I’ll try to put up some new posts as a break from marking papers and course selection.

Annie turned 8 and Tabitha 5 on April 16 and 22 respectively.  Like last year, we had their party at Adventure Park, a little nature/amusement part just down the road from CTI’s backside.

The main events were cake and waterslides.


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Waiting for Cake . . . Guests were a mixture of neighbors and school friends

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Still waiting for cake . . .

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Happy to have cake.

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Happy to have eaten cake. The lady in the middle is Dalus, our neighbor and CTI’s Registrar

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Fr. Marcin (our Scripture lecturer) and neighbor girls Bernadette and Morrisa

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The blue is a leisurely trip. The yellow is a free fall. I don’t like the yellow, because I feel it’s like psyching myself up to jump off a cliff. All my kids (sans Pippi) went down it multiple times.

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Annie and her friend and neighbor Rebecca

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The two boys are Zan (Annie’s classmate) and Bo (Tabitha’s classmate). They are brothers from Australia. They also played soccer with the girls.

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Tabby and Bo.

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Tobiah is airborne!  

It was a great day.  The kids could play on these slides forever.

 

Cairn 3

[Dear faithful reader, I had this post mostly ready to go, but then Perpetua was born and I forgot to finish it!  This is the last installment of our Cairns trip last year.]

Friday, 14 December, 2018

We took it easy this day and only planned to go to the Botanical Gardens and hang out at the resort.  The Gardens themselves were huge with lots of different sections, so we spent most of the day there.

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Where’s Anastasia?

A highlight was the conservatory which featured orchids and carnivorous plants.

Zimmermans under conservation

 

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It will eat you . . .

We had sushi for lunch, which was a real treat.  Anastasia loves sushi and tends to eat it all while Rebecca and I tend to Tabby and Toby.

Annie is thinking about whether she can sneak some sushi while everyone is looking at the camera.

Another highlight was a boardwalk through different kinds of mangrove swamps.  We even saw some mudskippers!

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This vine is a straggler fig. It climbs its host to get to sunlight and then kills it. It’s fruit is essential for the life cycle of a wasp.

Pregnant and fit!

 

The resort has a small salt water pool, and really, the kids could have probably spent a whole day just romping around in it.

Saturday, 15 December was supposed to be a Cairns city day, but there was supposed to be a topical cyclone coming through, so we simply went to morning mass at the cathedral and then prepared to return to PNG.  The Cathedral at Cairns had lovely stained glass windows which depicted the creation and destruction of the world from contemporary cosmological perspective: cosmic dust swirling to form the Earth, the gradual emergence of life, humans in a cloud rainforest . . .  We put the best of the pictures (from CC’s phone) on Facebook; unfortunately, I did not bring the camera.

We’ll probably go back to Cairns after Christmas this year.  Want to join us?

Against Religiously Motivated Violence

As the Secretary for Ecumenical and Inter-faith Dialogue for the PNG and Solomon Islands Catholic Bishops Conference, I was asked to draft the local Catholic Church’s response to the Christchurch mosque shootings.  I enclose what the Bishops Conference approved.  The statement is to be read and the prayers are to be prayed in all the Catholic dioceses in PNG and the Solomons this Palm Sunday.

I note that I wrote these under demanding time restraints, but I am very happy to do my part to promote peace.

PRAYER FOR PEACE

PALM SUNDAY

14 APRIL 2019

On 15 March this year, a tragedy happened in New Zealand.  A man claiming to be Christian attacked Muslims during their lotu service.  He killed 50 people and wounded another 50 people, including women, children, and the elderly.  In response, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands has asked us to think about and pray for peace today.

History is full of examples of people using religion as a reason for hurting and killing others.  In today’s Passion story, the Jewish leaders sentence Jesus to death because he challenges their religious beliefs.  In the history of Christianity, there are too many examples of Jews, Christians, and Muslims attacking each other in the name of God.  On 4 February this year, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb (a Muslim leader) published a statement on Human Brotherhood.  The Pope said that God is the author of life, not the author of death.  Life is a gift that all have the responsibility to protect.  It is never right to take away someone else’s life.

According to Pope Francis and Imam Ahmad, religions should never cause and support war, hatred, and violence.  Anyone who claims that God teaches that we should hate or kill another human being is corrupting the true message of the Gospel for personal gain.  The way of Jesus Christ is peace, dialogue, charity, prayer, and humble service, especially for non-believers and those that we think are our enemies.  As Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who seek to harm you.”

In the name of Christ Jesus who died to bring us peace, we pray, saying “Lord, grant us your peace”:

L: Father, we confess that often we do not work for peace.  Out of our fears and desires come hateful words and actions.  We ask you to please forgive us and bring peace to our troubled hearts and minds.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

L: Father, we confess that in our family lives often we do not work for peace.  We ask and expect our family members to serve us and meet our needs, while we dislike serving and suffering for them.  We ask you to please forgive us and bring peace to our families.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

L: Father, we confess that in our communities we often we do not work for peace.  We often are only kind to our friends and relatives.  We can be suspicious of strangers and those who are different.  We can ignore and fail to protect those whom we do not like.  We ask you to please forgive us and bring peace to our communities.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

L: Father, we confess that our nation does not often work for peace.  In politics we often promote our own interests and not what is good for all Papua New Guineans and members of Solomon Islands.  We neglect to protect the poor and the helpless; we often are not good stewards of the environment.  We ask you to please forgive us and bring peace and justice to our nations.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

L: Father, we confess that peace is often missing in our world.  Nations compete with each other and exploit and neglect the poor and the powerless.  People claiming to act in your name encourage hatred and violence.  We confess our own part in the evils of our time.  We ask you to please forgive us and bring peace and justice to our world.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

L: Father, today we remember in a special way the death of your son Jesus Christ.  We ask you to please put to death our own sinful desires, thoughts and actions.  By your grace, may we be made like Christ and, alive in Him, may we lovingly work for peace and justice in our families, communities, nations and world.

A: Lord, grant us your peace.

 

PRAYER FOR PEACE

[Translated by Bp. William Fey OFM Cap of Kimbe]

PALM SUNDAY

14 APRIL 2019

Long de 15 bilong mun Mas 2019, wanpela samting nogut tru i kamap long Niu Zilan. Wanpela man, husat i tok em i Kristen, i wokim pait long ol Muslim long taim ol i lotu.  Displa man i kilim indai 50pela manmeri na givim bikpla bagarap long narapla 50 manmeri. Planti meri na pikinini na lapun i kisim bagarap.

Olsem tude, Katolik Bisops Konferens bilong PNG na Solomon Ailans i singaut long yumi olgeta i tingting na pre bai pasin bel isi i kamap.  Taim yumi lukluk i go bek, planti taim sampela manmeri i yusim lotu bilong bagarapim na kilim ol arapla manmeri.

Tude insait long stori bilong pen na dai bilong Jesus, ol bikman i kotim Jesus na tok em i mas dai bikos Jesus i no bihainim gut pasin bilong bilip bilong ol.  Long taim bipo na nau, planti pait na bagarap i kamap namel long ol Juda, Kristen na Muslim.    Ol i wok long pait namel long ol yet na ol i mekim olsem long nem bilong God.

Long de namba 4 bilong mun Februeri insait long dispela yia, Pop Fransis na wanpela  bikman bilong ol Muslim, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, i autim strongpela tok  olsem: yumi olgeta manmeri i bratasusa.  Pop yet i tok: God i kamapim lait na em yet i as bilong lait tru, tasol God i no laik wanpela man i kilim narapela.  Pop i tok moa olsem: lait em i presen God i givim long yumi na yumi mas lukautim gut na save:  kilim i dai narapela manmeri em i no stret tru.

Pop Frensis na Imam Ahmad i tok: ol lotu na bilip i no stret sapos ol  i sapotim ol bikpela pait na pasin bilong daunim ol birua na pasin bilong pait nating. Sapos wanpela man o meri i tok God i laik bai yumi kilim ol birua, dispela skul i kranki olgeta.  Dispela tok i no trupels tok bilong Gutnius.

Trupela rot bilong bihainim Jisas Krais em pasin bilong bel isi, toktok gut wantaim, givim nating samting, pre wantaim daunpasin na helpim narapela.   Jisas i tok “Laikim tru ol birua bilong yu na helpim ol lain i wok long bagarapim yu.”

Long nem bilong Jisas Krais husat i bin dai bilong givim yumi bel isi, yumi pre nau na bekim olsem: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L:  God Papa, mipela i tokaut nau olsem, planti taim mipela i no save strong long kamapim bel isi, ol laik nogut bilong mipela i daunim mipela long mekim tok nogut na kamapim birua  long ol narapela. Nau mipela i askim yu, plis porgivim mipela na givim bel isi long hat na tingting bilong mipela.

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L: God Papa, mipela i tokaut nau olsem, planti taim insait long famili laip mipela no save wok bilong kamapim bel isi.  Mipela i no laik karim pen na hevi bilong helpim ol bratasusa bilong mipela insait long famili bilong mipela. Nau mipela i askim yu, plis porgivim mipela na givim bel isi long ol famili bilong mipela.

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L: God Papa, mipela i tokaut nau olsem, planti taim mipela no save wok bilong kamapim bel isi insait long ol komuniti bilong mipela. Mipela i no save lukautim gut ol arapela.   Planti taim mipela i lukautim ol poroman na wanblut na lusim long tingting long ol narapela lain.  Nau mipela i askim yu, plis porgivim mipela na givim bel isi long ol komuniti bilong mipela

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L: God Papa, mipela i tokaut nau olsem, planti taim mipela no save wok bilong kamapim bel isi insait long ol kantri bilong mipela. Planti manmeri bilong PNG na Solomon Ailans i no save kisim gutpela sevis na helpim ol arapela.  Mipela i no lukautim gut ol tarangu na mipela i no save lukautim gut environment bilong mipela.  Nau mipela i askim yu, plis porgivim mipela na givim bel isi na stretpela pasin long ol kantri bilong mipela.

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L: God Papa, mipela i tokaut nau olsem, planti hap long olgeta ples bilong graun i nogat bel isi. Sampela kantri i wok tasol long bagarapim narapela kantri.  Ol turangu na ol lain i no gat namba, painim bikpela bagarap na sampela ol lain i yusim nem bilong yu long sapotim pasin birua na pait.  Mipela tu i mekim dispela olgeta bagarap.  Nau mipela i askim yu, plis porgivim mipela na givim bel isi na wanbel pasin long olgeta hap bilong graun.

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

L: God Papa,tude mipela i tingim dai bilong pikinini bilong yu, Jisas Krais.  Mipela askim yu rausim olgeta laik na tingting na pasin nogut long mipela. Long grasia bilong yu, mipela i ken kamap olsem lait bilong Krais na stap laip insait long Krais na wok strong bilong kamapim bel isi na stretpela pasin insait long ol famili, komuniti, kantri na laip bilong graun.

A: “Bikpela givim mipela Bel Isi”

 

Perpetua’s Baptism

Pippi was baptized on March 3 at Holy Spirit Seminary’s chapel by Archbishop Douglas W. Young, SVD of Mt. Hagen.

HSS chapel 

Our neighbors Dalus and Raymond were proxy godparents, Perpetua’s godparents being in Vermont.

What do you ask of the church? Baptism!

In his homily, Abp. Doug recounted some of the story of St. Perpetua and Felicity, and how they stood up for their faith, even under pressure from both civil authorities and family members. Giving your child a Christian name, he said, was the first step in raising them in the faith.

Anastasia read the intercessions, and then a seminarian sang a litany of the saints.

She did very well.

in the name of the Father… and of the Son… and of the Holy Spirit

Fresh from the fount

clothed in the white garment, to remind her to bring her dignity unstained into the everlasting life of Heaven

I always get a shiver at the words in the post-baptismal prayer, “May she go out to meet Him when He comes, with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” This is the job description: to prepare this tiny person for a life in Glory.

Final blessing over the parents, we need it 

The Rite 1 liturgy, chosen especially because the Eucharist prayers mention Anastasia and Perpetua, was beautiful.

Music provided by the seminarians

Afterwards we served cake and ice cream in the student dining hall. I brought Pippi over to the Archbishop to hold, and he held up his hands and said “Ah, yes! Come into the arms of the Church!”

 

A little smile for +Doug

Welcome to the Christian family, Perpetua, we love you.