Papua New Guinea – The untiring effort of Salesian missionaries bears fruit

06 September 2016

(ANS – Port Moresby) – "It takes a village to raise a child", says a well-known proverb; and it takes a community - family, ormation guides, friends, etc. – to help a vocation to grow even though the call is from God himself. The vocational witness the Papuan student Bernard Kaiau is proof.

I come from a Catholic family and I am the fourth in the family with three brothers and one sister. My father is a teacher while my mother is a house wife. My vocation interest began at an early age of three years, thanks to the teachings and Christian principles given by my parents. They were the ones who brought us to the village rosary organized by different communities especially in the month of October, and every Sunday, my parents made sure we attended church.

Hence, I always try to conduct myself in the right way. As a young person, I would correct my friends when they swore or did something wrong. The signs of a vocation were present, but I still did not have a clear direction towards becoming a religious.

This was made clear when I entered Don Bosco Vanimo in the year 2003. I remained there for four years as a boarding student. The good learning environment was conducive to guide me as a student in all aspects of mental, social, physical, emotional and most especially spiritual aspects. It created a big impact in my life.

The things in school that helped me become a religious were praying the rosary every day, availability of our Salesian priests for confession, retreats, and the good morning and good night talks. Apart from this, the Salesians were always present with us on school outings, in the playing field and other school related activities.

With this direction and guidance in my life, I decided to join the vocation group and later made my decision in the year 2006 to enter the Savio Haus Seminary. But around the month of May in the year 2007, I was severely affected by cerebral malaria and was admitted to the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby for a week after which I was sent back home to my mother’s province in West Sepik. I thought this was the end of my vocation and study career.

But God still called me. I reapplied to the college and expressed my desire to be an aspirant and was accepted back at the seminary and to continue my studies at DBTI. I then completed the four years of college and graduated in the year 2011. Seeing my classmates going out to work made me pull out from the seminary. My parents also wanted me to stay out for a while and work to help finance the family. I also had to detach myself from a girlfriend who was studying at the University of Goroka, in order to answer this special call from God.

It was quite challenging for me to come up with such a decision. But with prayer, with understanding from my biological family, and support from the Salesians in the formation house I applied for Pre-novitiate and was accepted to go to Don Bosco Formation Centre in Philippines’ Cebu in the year 2012 to 2013. I stayed on to do my Novitiate in the year 2013 to 2014. The two years of formation have helped me take a closer look at myself and, with the help of God through his instruments, I finally made the decision to become a Salesian of Don Bosco.

What really motivates me is the untiring effort of Salesian missionaries here in our country, Papua New Guinea, who continue to help, mould, shape and form our young people to become good Christians and honest citizens.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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