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Volume 25 No. 3 | Spring 2015

4

Missionaries overcome challenges to be

with PNG’s forgotten people

In a world of big cities and instant communications it is easy

to forget that in places like the Highlands of Papua New

Guinea, missionaries still walk for two days through rough

terrain and swollen rivers to reach the “forgotten” people in

remote areas.

Fr Stach Kilarski SVD has been missionary to the remotest

parts of PNG’s Enga Province since 1979, and is currently

stationed at Maramumi Parish in Wabag Diocese.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have been most of the time in

the really remote areas, in the so-called bush,” he says.

“There’s a lot of walking, but it’s been a good experience for

me to be in these remote, high altitude places.”

When he’s not walking from place to place, often for

days, Fr Stach sometimes uses a motorbike or even a

bicycle, depending on the terrain and the accessability. On

occasion, he asks the AUS Province to send him motorbike

parts and other crucial supplies, something the Province,

through its generous Partners in Mission, is very happy to

provide. The AUS Province has also recently sponsored

a new motorbike for another SVD missionary from the

Highlands of PNG.

“We don’t have

big villages here,

just settlements,”

Fr Stach says.

“There is the

mission station

and then some

small places where

people live.

“Sometimes I can

ride to one of the bigger stations, but then, from there, it is

two days walk, across the river and through the bush to the

outstation.”

Fr Stach says the people in the remote Highlands face

difficult times, with little support from the government in

terms of health services and education.

“There are no health services here now. There used to be,

but then it stopped. And there is no education. They used

to have a health centre, police and agriculture, but now

everything is gone.”

Just this year some schools have started up again, after a 10

year absence.