OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - The Franciscan missionaries renew their commitment in the province of Sandoun

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Port Moresbey (Agenzia Fides) - The Franciscan missionaries renew their missionary efforts in the province of Sandoun, in north-western Papua New Guinea. Fr Lukasz Kwiatkowski is a young 29 year old Franciscan missionary, ordained two years ago in Krakow, Poland, and arrived in Perth in April, on the occasion of the special celebrations of the Polish Franciscan community Maylands for the beatification of Pope John Paul II which took place on 1 May. Accompanied by Father Piotr Rzucidlo, OFM, father Lukasz went through the jungle to reach the remote church built by the same father Piotr, where he will work in the province of Sandoun. Initially father Piotr will be with him to help him in his settlement and to get to know the place, then he will remain along with 3 other new Guinean Franciscan friars.
The Franciscans have been committed in that area of the country since the time of the Second World War. The first local Franciscan ordination was in 1984 during the pontificate of Blessed Pope John Paul II. Father Piotr, who is now 42, was alone in Nuku for over 10 years between 1998 and 2008, because the other Franciscan volunteers returned home after a few months. There have been few missionaries who returned almost immediately despite the good intentions to stay in Papua New Guinea. Father Lukasz admits he feels scared, but he is sure that God will give him the strength to continue his mission. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 06/01/2011)