Dear family I write simply in order to give thanks to all of you, for all the prayers and sacrifices you have done for the spiritual fruits of the popular mission. It was held in one of the villages called Wutung connected to our Holy Trinity Parish. This village is on the border of Indonesia. The inhabitants speak their own dialect, which is very difficult to learn. Thanks be to God, most of them speak pidgin which is one of the official languages in PNG. The elders just speak their own dialect. Around six hundred people live in this village. It is a simple village. There is no electricity, gas or toilets. The people are accustom to eat on the floor and they take showers and wash their clothes in the rivers which are quite near to the village. The houses are very simple and made out of jungle materials. They do not own beds or mattresses, they simply sleep on the floor of their houses.
Wutung received the Good News for first time 1951 thanks the first Franciscans missionaries. Sixty missionaries took part during the popular mission. They included parents, mothers and youth. All of them were parishioners of our Parish and had experience and knowledge of the meaning and aim of the popular mission. Before the popular mission we did the pre-mission where all the missionaries prepared themselves spiritually for this great event. The opening and closing of the mission was done by the Most. Reverent Bishop Cesar Bonivento, who was very enthusiastic and supportive of the mission.
As parish priest, I observed in the mission team a great spiritual happiness as result of being in sanctifying grace. I also experienced in each one of them a great zeal for the souls. All of them were able to accept any sacrifice for the salvation of the souls. All missionaries were very busy every day as the mission was very intense. I consider this popular mission to be a double mission: firstly, the mission team had to be converted for the salvation of the souls and secondly, there was the mission for the people of the Village itself.
The spiritual fruits which God blessed us with were innumerable and are impossible to enumerate. I will mention only some of them. Two people, after being twenty years in a sect, manifested the desire to come back to the Catholic Church. They received the sacraments and then during the Holy Mass in the last day of the mission, they renewed their faith in front of the Bishop by praying the Creed. In addition to this, there were innumerable confessions, first communions, baptisms, and confirmations. Also, inside this Village there are several clans and even though they belong to the same village and have the same dialect, they left the Catholic Church because of the fight among them. However, thanks be to God and the work of the missionaries, several came back to the Church and we did- what they call in pidjin- pasim sekan which means ‘make peace’. They forgave each other in front of the Blessed Sacrament and parish priest. This gave them the opportunity to come freely to the Sacrament of confession and receive Holy Communion every Sunday.
This was the goal of the popular mission- to establish and continue in the people the value and ability to save a neighbour’s soul and give Glory of God. Thanks be to God, we have already held in our parish seven popular missions. Now the missionaries and the Bishop are so enthusiastic that they want to continue to preach and establish missions everywhere.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you very much again in the Lord and Our Lady of Paradise.
Missionaries IVE fathers
Papua Nueva Guinea.