The first evangelization of this land started almost 60 years ago, when Franciscan and Passionist missionaries came to the island. The Institute of the Incarned Word arrived 14 years ago and located in the small Dioecese of Vanimo in the north-west, very close to the border with Indonesia. Together with the Bishop, Monsignor Cesare Bonivento, the IVE fathers founded the Diocesan Seminary “Saint Charles Borromeo” responding to his request.
In 2002 the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà came to Papua New Guinea to help the fathers in their pastoral work. They assist the Pastoral Centre preparing material for cathecism and hold a house for girls with family problems (around thirty girls live with them). The fathers teach in the Seminary to prepare the future priests for their ministry. It is important to form local priests who know better their own people, language and culture, so that they can do what a foreigner cannot, especially for the numerous isolated communities in the jungle. The teaching consists approximately in 24 philosophical, theological and exegetical subjects.
The parish has many small communities located on the coastline or into the jungle, in which the missionaries organize popular missions, processions with the statue of the Virgin of Lujan and teach catechism together with volunteers. The administration of Sacraments is however the priority in a country where the standards of life are very low and many people are still ignorant regarding the Faith in Christ. A notable apostolate has been the translation of the Gospel in Pidgin (the local language, a mixture of English and local dialects) which helped the pastoral activity.