Bishop Doggett invited the Brothers to take over the administration of the newly established secondary school in his diocese. In fact it was the first secondary school in the whole of the West Sepik Province. At first only two Brothers were appointed to PNG. Brother Charles Barry became the principal of St Ignatius High School in Aitape. Ten years later in 1978, Brother Charles was asked to carve a school out of the jungles of the Nuku district on the other side of the Torricelli mountain range. The transformation was miraculous as he and Brother Michael Vella worked with the local people to create a very fine school and campus.
Since 1968 twenty-five Australian, Irish, and Indian Patrician Brothers have made very significant contributions to education in Papua New Guinea as classroom teachers, school administrators and in the fields of teacher training and curriculum development.
In 1987 the Brothers accepted the first group of Papua New Guineans for training and formation as Patrician Brothers. Brothers Michael Vella and Phillip Turner took on the daunting task of religious formation in a foreign culture. The formation centre was established first at the Nuku school and then expanded to Laingim. Eventually Brother Phillip developed a site in Aitape itself as the centre of Patrician Formation.
Over the years our ministries in PNG have diversified. Depending on personal capacities and training, Patricians have been involved in school-based and correspondence education; teacher training; healthcare; HIV/AIDS awareness, testing & counselling; brick and tank manufacturing and partnership with Callan Services for the disabled in Wewak.
In 2011 two PNG-born Patricians are teaching in a remote primary school, two make pastoral patrols on foot to small communities, one is training to be a community health worker (CHW) and five are doing professional studies at Divine Word University. One more is studying Commerce by correspondence while being responsible for our administration and finances. All have ‘Hearts on Fire’ for realising the vision of Daniel Delany for a more just and equitable society.
Present Patrician Locations in Papua New Guinea
2. Laingim (Teaching & Parish)
3. Wewak (Teacher Training)
4. Madang (Training)
The combined population of the Sandaun and East Sepik provinces is 528900; combined area is 78600 square kilometres. The distance from Wewak (3) to Aitape (1) is 120 kilometres.
Nuku 1979 - RE Teaching - Bishops Hill 1996 - Br Tony O’Connor R.I.P. - Formation community at Bishop’s Hill
Nuku 1983 - Formation house at Bishop’s Hill - Laingim house - Brothers in the mood for a song