Provincial Directory - Religious Communities

Popondota  Congregation of the Sisters of the Visitation of Our Lady

Popondota  Society of St Francis (Solomon Islands Province)

Popondota  The Melanesian Brotherhood (Papua New Guinea)

CVL - Congregation of the Sisters of the Visitation of Our Lady 

Founded 1964

In the early 1960s, three young women accompanied a Holy Name Sister to Hetune, a site near Popondetta in the then Northern Province, in order to test their vocation to the Religious Life. The group became known as the Community of the Visitation and for the next twenty years remained concentrated at Hetune, making two attempts at opening further communities, first at Madang, then at Dotura.

The Congregation, on the basis of its spirituality springing from the life and discipleship of Our Lady, focuses its apostolate on the family which it undertakes through complementary ministries of hospitality within its own community houses and visiting in family homes and centres of family activity.

The Christian Family Life and other spiritual enrichment courses are conducted by the Sisters to people of all ages. We have spiritual affirmation with Roman Catholic Religious, and every year in March we participate in the Federation of Religious and Women Conference. The Sisters have now established capacity building and the Community Development Centre in the Convent.

Contact Details

Name: Sister Guardian CVL 
Address: Convent of the Visitation Hetune, Box 18, Popondota, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea

SSF - Society of St Francis (Solomon Islands Province) 

Founded 1921

The Society of St Francis has diverse origins in a number of Franciscan groups which drew together during the 1930s to found one Franciscan Society. SSF in its widest definition includes First Order Brothers, First Order Sisters (CSF), Second Order Sisters (OSC) and a Third Order. The First Order shares a common life of prayer, fraternity and a commitment to the poor.

SSF friars went from England to Papua New Guinea in the late 1950s and the first Australian house was established in 1964. The first New Zealand house followed in 1970. In 1981, the Pacific Province was divided into two: Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.The latter was divided again in 2008 into Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Contact Details

Name: Oswald Dumbari SSF  (Provincial Minister, PNG, assumed office July 2012)
Address: St Mary of the Angels Friary, Haruro, PO Box 78, Popondetta 241, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Tel: +675 329 7060
Fax: +675 329 7060

MBH - The Melanesian Brotherhood (Papua New Guinea) 

Founded 1925

The Melanesian Brotherhood was founded by Ini Kopuria, a native Solomon Islander from Guadalcanal, in 1925. Its main purpose was evangelistic, to take and live the Gospel in the most remote islands and villages throughout the Solomon Islands, among people who had not heard the message of Christ. The Brotherhood’s method is to live as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions and customs: planting, harvesting, fishing, house building, eating and sharing with the people in all these things. Kopuria believed that Solomon Islanders should be converted in a Melanesian way.

Today, the work of the Brotherhood has broadened to include work and mission among both Christians and non-Christians. The Melanesian Brotherhood now has three Regions in the Pacific: Solomon Islands (includes Brothers in the Philippines and Vancouver); Papua New Guinea; and Southern (Vanuatu, New Caledonia & the Diocese of Polynesia). There is a Region for Companions and any Brothers in Europe.

Following an ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands 1998-2003, the Melanesian Brotherhood have been increasingly called upon as peace makers and reconcilers, work for which they were awarded the United Nations Pacific Peace Prize in 2004.

The Brotherhood has also led missions in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines and UK; their missionary approach includes music, dance and a powerful use of drama. There was a further mission in the UK in 2013 conducted with members of four Anglican Religious communities in Melanesia, entitled the Simply Living Mission. The Brothers and Sisters visited seven dioceses in England.

The Brotherhood aims to live the Gospel in a direct and simple way following Christ’s example of prayer, mission and service. The Brothers take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but these are not life vows but for a period of three years, which can be renewed. They train for four years as novices and normally make their vows as Brothers at the Feast of St Simon and St Jude. Most of the Brothers are laymen but a few are ordained.

Contact Details

Name: Brother Johnson Ingamavu MBH  (Regional Headbrother, Papua New Guinea Region)
Address: Dobuduru Regional Headquarters, Haruro, PO Box 29, Popondetta, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea