By Sr. Lapynshai Khongwir, MSMHC
Port Moresby, PNG, 26 March 2023 -- Sr. Philomena Mathew the Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC) and her Assistant General Sr. Christine Mynsong visited the PNG mission from 16 to 20 March 2023. Less than a year after their new venture in PNG, the MSMHC sisters were privileged to have their Major Superiors visit this mission land.
Early on the 17 March, the two sisters have engraved in their memory their interaction with the students of Don Bosco Technical School Gabutu (DBTS) during the school’s morning assembly. “God sees you. He is everywhere. Walk in His presence.” This was the advice from the Superior General to the young and energetic students. Speaking to the students, Sr. Christine Mynsong explained to the students about the changes during adolescence and the need to accept and seek guidance from the senior members of their community. The two Indian sisters were warmly welcomed by the Gabutu community of the Salesians under the leadership of the Rector, Fr. Pedro Sachitula, SDB.
It is through the initiative of the SDBs that the sisters were invited to collaborate in the mission of saving souls in Papua New Guinea. Three MSMHC sisters Sr. Mini Joseph, Sr. Kanchan Toppo and Sr. Lapynshai Khongwir work in close collaboration with the Salesians for pastoral work in the Mary Help of Christians Parish at Sabama. Family visits are part of their charism for evangelization. One sister is teaching in the Salesian school while the other two are involved in the project to provide work for the unemployed mothers from the settlements.
Mother Philomena Mathew and Sr. Christine Mynsong witnessed how the women were taught and trained to cook and bake in order to generate income for their children’s savings to enable them to continue their education. During the short meeting with the mothers, the sisters stressed on having a bank account for their savings, learning and living with dignity, bringing change to the settlement, caring for the young girls at home to avoid early pregnancy and being in constant union with God through prayers. This encounter brought glimmers of hope on the mothers’ eyes and smiles on their faces.
Expressing her gratitude to the MSMHC for the chance to be part of the Don Bosco family, Mrs. Rebbeca Aron, a young mother who was part of the project, said, “Now I learn to bake and make donuts, scones, ice blocks etc. I practice hygiene and cleanliness and am happy that my son is in a normal school. Thanks to the sisters, I feel proud to walk in the campus of DBTS, Gabutu.”
To further understand their mission the sisters met the Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and SI Archbishop Fermín Emilio Sosa Rodriguez. Moved by the sharing of Sr. Mini on their pastoral visit to the settlements, the Nuncio promised to give food packets to some families whom the sisters visit. On the evening of the 18th of March, they visited Serokone, where they recited the rosary and shared a meal. On Sunday morning they joined the faithful for the Eucharist at the Mary Help of Christians Parish, Sabama. They greatly appreciated the faith and energy of the simple parishioners.