Bush trip to Marangis
Bp Steve Reichert
Last weekend I made a long bush trip to Marangis Village, the last outstation of Christ the King Parish at Kayan Village and Mission Station. Kayan is a large village located about 50km north of Bogia, some 240 km from Madang.
The mission at Kayan has existed for a long time but until recently has never had a resident parish priest. An SVD, Brother Alois, stayed there many years and ministered to the people in many different ways. He was much loved by the people until his departure a few years ago to Europe where he died.
About two years ago, Fr. Gaudencio Pereira PIME became the first priest to live at Kayan and serve the people of Kayan as their parish priest. You'll see him in a picture posted a few scrolls down. Kayan is quite an interesting and beautiful place. Its just off the coast and you can hear the breakers on the beach but not see them through the bush. What you do see is a large coastal village located in a mangrove and sago swamp, with open water here and there, while little streamlets lead you to family homes scattered about. Looks like it would be easy for a stranger to get lost. Lots of fresh and sea water creatures to feast on but look out for the crocs. Nat Geo stuff!
Pictured here is our trusted skipper, who took us from Kayan to Marangis, a 40 minute trip on the sea past the mouth of the Ramu River, through rough waters to the beach at Marangis. We went to Marangis with a dual purpose, to bless a newly constructed church and to celebrate the final vows profession of Br. Blaise, a native of Marangis and Marist Teaching Brother. The second picture was taken from our dinghy as we leave the sago swamps of Marangis and head back out to sea on return to Kayan.
Welcomed at the beach of Marangis, dancers took us past the old bush church, in the background, a structure which a few years withstood a mild tsunami. Now it is retired in favour of the new church located off the beach and slightly inland, Maria Immakulata Church.