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  • Sr. Maria Tongop PBVM

Diaconate ordination at St. Ignatius cathedral

Aitape: On Wednesday 25 June, 2022, Cl. Patterson Mutuwai (Diocesan Seminarian) and Cl. Walter Kalana OFM had their Diaconate Ordination at St. Ignatius Cathedral Parish, Aitape.

Rev. Bishop Siby Mathew Peedikayil HGN presided over the celebration. The concelebrants were Fr. Norbert Anzac OFM, Fr. Hugh Kuam OFM, Fr. Lukasz Kwiatkowski OFM, Fr. Terence Tavaive, Fr. Gregory Los, Fr. Tommy Makain, Fr. Patrick Possani, Fr. Andrew Zaryzacki, Fr. Anicet Dimby CSSp, Fr. George Ayikade CSSp, Fr. Michael Watae CSSp, Fr. Bartholomew Kwiyega CSSp, Fr. Alphonsus Umezuuke CCE, and Fr. Micah of the Diocese of Wewak. There were two Seminarians, Noel Sau and Adrian Melkiau and Dn Raymond Malken from the Diocese of Wewak Diocese and Dn Bernard Kaiau SDB. Religious and faithful of the Diocese of Aitape too joined the Eucharist celebration. Fr. Hugh Kuam OFM presented Cl. Walter Kalana OFM and Fr. Gregory Los, Vocation Director, presented Cl. Patterson Mutuwai. Then their families brought them forward to be ordained by the Bishop.

In his homily, Bp. Siby praised and thanked God for the gift of the ones to be ordained. He also thanked God for the families and their communities who offered them to the Church. The bishop then explained the meaning of the promises they make, particularly, to be consecrated for the Church’s ministry, to hold fast to the Catholic faith, to proclaim the faith in word and deed and to live a life of prayer. He explained that in the promise of lifelong celibacy they follow the example of Christ. This will help them to attach themselves to Christ and serve him and the people with an undivided heart. While placing the Book of the Gospels in their hands he said: “Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.” He also said that priestly vocation is a gift from God. He reminded them that the true reward for their life of faithfulness will be waiting for them in heaven (Mt 19:27). He emphasized that faithfulness to the end of life is very important (Mt 24:13).

After the Ordination rites the Bishop and all the priests congratulated the new Deacons and warmly welcomed them. Fr. Norbert Anzac OFM, the Master of Ceremonies, thanked the people of God who had helped in the celebration, the decoration, the liturgy, etc. On behalf of the two, Dn. Patterson thanked the Bishop, the Clergy, the religious, the families and all the people who helped in the journey of their lives.

After the Holy Mass, the families of the new Deacons, Religious and the faithful congratulated the new Deacons and wished them well in their mission ahead. To express their heartfelt thanks and joy, The Poor Clare Sisters and the Presentation Sisters presented beautifully decorated cakes to the Deacons and all present.


Aitape: The Diocese of Aitape celebrated the ending of the Holy Family Pilgrimage with an incredible celebration in all the three Deaneries of the Diocese. In Lumi Deanery the celebration was on 18-19 June 2022. In Nuku Deanery it was celebrated on 22-23 June 2022. And in Aitape on the 25-26 of June.

In Aitape Deanery, the celebration was held at the Jubilee Grandstand. Bp Siby Mathew and concelebrated by nine priests celebrated the Eucharist. The priests were: Fr. Hugh Kuam OFM, Fr. Bartholomew Kuiyega CSSp, Fr George Ayikade CSSp, Fr. Terence Tavaive, Fr. Anicet Dimby CSSp, Fr. Gregory Los, Fr. Tommy Makain, Fr. Patrick Posani, Fr. Michael Watae CSSp, and the two newly ordained Deacons, Walter Kalana and Patterson Mutuwai.

Many religious and lay people of Aitape Deanery attended the Mass. The theme of the celebration was, ‘’Kamapim holi famili, stap famili bilong laikim tru, pogivim tru na sambai oltaim long ol arapela.’’ Each Deanery in the Diocese participated right through the celebrations and at the closing. The Holy Family Statue pilgrimage had a great impact on the families. Many families had opportunities for reconciliation. It helped many families to stay alive, be formed and ready for mission.

In the homily the bishop reminded the faithful that it was the time of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome with the theme, “Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness”. He spoke of the great love and concern of the Holy Family towards all the families of the world. He invited the families to live for God and to do everything for God. He called on the people of God to keep the Word of God in their lives (1 Jn 2:17; Ps 119:11). He reminded the parents of their duty to teach their children the Word of God (Deut 11:18-19). Parents have the responsibility to become role models for their children, he said. After narrating the story of Emma Makain (1900 – 1974) of Ali Island, Aitape Diocese, who lived an extraordinarily holy life, the bishop concluded his message inviting the families to meditate on the Passion of Christ during the challenging moments of daily life.

Diocesan Family Life Coordinator, Mrs. Cecilia Mawe invited all parents to realize that, ‘’As parents, it is our duty to start training and forming our children at an early age to know their basic Catechism in order to witness Christ in their lives, in school and in place of work. They should become another Christ and give witness to him by preaching, in life and in mission”.

Mrs. Mawe also updated the upcoming events following the five-year pastoral plan of National Family Life Apostolate of Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG & SI. The following Themes will be celebrated in Family Life: 2023 – Year of Children in the family; 2024 – Year of Youth in the family; 2025 – Year of Grandparents in the family; 2026 – Year of parents in the family.

Mr. Steven Matawe, the Chairman of the Deanery, thanked and appreciated all present for the beautiful and inspiring celebrations and for the pilgrimage with the statue of the Holy Family. He acknowledged the impact of the pilgrimage on our families. The celebrations concluded with light refreshment.

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