A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Presentation Mission Gala at Kapiti

A Mission Sunday Feature

Every year for the past 26 years, the parishioners of St Patricks parish Paraparaumu and Our Lady of Fatima Waikanae have held a fund-raising Mission Gala for the Presentation Sisters’ missions in South America and Papua New Guinea. The people of these parishes see this commitment as recognition of the ministry of the sisters in this area since 1954 when they founded St Patrick’s School.

In 1981  four Presentation sisters (originally from Ireland) went to work in poor slum areas of South America, and again in 1986 Sisters Breda and Teresa, both trained nurses, answered the call to Ningill PNG joining their Australian sisters in community health work. A major achievement of this time was the establishment of a Clinic (Haus Sik) which continues to serve this community.

Sister Breda with two of her friends,  Robert and Kingsley, in Ningil , PNG,

Sister Breda with two of her friends, Robert and Kingsley, in Ningil , PNG,

Both these mission outreaches required on-going financial support in communities with little access to money.

The annual Gala has met this need, and was attended this year by Sister Francesca Kosi PBVM. She was taught by the original Presentation sisters, and is one of many who have been given a chance of higher education.The sisters now have a novitiate in PNG, supported by the CWL of Paraparaumu parish. The local sisters are very much part of their communities.

The Sisters regularly exchange letters with their compatriots in PNG and South America which are full of thanks for our help and the needs for which the money is being used. A few of the comments are;

From Sr Marie in PNGOne of my greatest delights was to gather a group of illiterate single youth in Waspom village. My task was to see if they were interested in learning to read and write in Pidgin. As we sat on the rough floor and I began to show them the letter ‘a’, I could not easily speak as I recalled Nano’s first efforts with her disadvantaged children. It was such a privilege to be able to begin our first lesson in what I hope will be a school for these young eager people. I only had an exercise book with me so that was my blackboard, their fingers and the rough flooring their writing materials.”

Also from PNG Sr Margaret outlines how some of the money is used;

“At the moment we are struggling to educate our sisters so have used K4000 for the secondary education of Sr Mary and Sr Roselyn.”

Nurse in clinic

Nurse in clinic

From Santiago, Chile: “Our main focus is the development of the women and children in our areas. I recently built a centre where we will have classes in all sorts of skills like carpentry, hairdressing, and sewing, etc. So your donation helps us in all our efforts and makes us feel supported in what we are doing” 

From Sr Eileen Quirke, in Quito, Ecuador, to Sr Breda, Paraparaumu,

“The money you sent I will use in Formation of Families – inviting speakers to help parents of all the ages with Catechetics – from 10 to 16/18 years. Here parents haven’t had any basic chances of school – so are very ignorant of all that being a parent entails (not their fault as poverty curtails their education in country areas.)

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