Our Mission > Bishop Don Lippert in Papua New Guinea

Bishop Don Lippert in Papua New Guinea

In 2008 Bishop Don Lippert volunteered to join his brother Friars in Papua New Guinea to help train the next generation of Papua New Guinean priests.  During his earlier visits to PNG he saw the tremendous challenges ahead in helping the church continue to develop from a church of first evangelization to a flourishing local church.  One of the necessary steps along the way is the training and formation of Papua New Guinean brothers and priests.

Bishop Don taught at the Catholic Theological Institute in Bomana, near the Capital.  The mission of CTI is precisely to train young PNG Nationals for ministry in the Church as priests.  He lives with the Capuchin seminary students at the Capuchin Friars College where he is Formation Director.


The pictures below show some of Bishop Don's experiences in Papua New Guinea, most of which were taken while working with our Capuchin missionaries in the Southern Highlands.

Bishop Don with Novices in Pangia, in the Southern Highlands.
These young men have embraced the religious life and will become
seminary students of Bishop Don.

Bishop Don crossing a tree trunk bridge over a stream while on a
3 1/2 hour hike to the Pangia parish outstation church.

One of the more strenuous parts on the road to one of the Pangia
parish's outstation churches.

After Mass at the Pangia outstation church (in the background),
Bishop Don poses with the parishioners.

A village elder posing for the camera.  In the background you
can see a typical Papua New Guinea village.

A typical bush church.

Children getting ready for Catechism class.

Bishop Don with the people who donated the land for the most remote
outstation of the Pangia parish.

These faces reflect the warmth of Papua New Guineans and the trust they
place in our Capuchin missionaries.  In a tribal land with a dysfunctional
government, the church is the only institution people can believe in.

The Catechist at Capuchin Father Coleman Studeny's parish prepares
for the celebration honoring Cardinal Seán O'Malley's visit.  These
festive occasions are called "sing sings."

Capuchin Bishop Steven Reichert and Cardinal Seán O'Malley 
happily prepare for the traditional "sing sing" meal of roasted pig.

Bishop Don joins with his brother Capuchins after a Vice-Province
of St. Michael the Archangel Council meeting.  Standing: Br. Jerry Kirmie,
Fr. Bill Fey, Br. Peter Warea, Br. Venantius Valuta, Fr. Paul Patlo,
Fr. Allan Wasiecko, Br. Ray Ronan, Br. Isaiah Timba, Fr. Jonathan Williams,
Br. Elias Zambra.  Kneeling: Br. Robert Kosi, Fr. Neil Blue, Fr. Don.

"Mud men" at a cultural fest celebrating Papua New Guinea's
independence in 1975.

White is the color of mourning in the Papua New Guinea culture.
People smear white mud on their faces while grieving the loss of a loved one.

On the left a seminary student of Bishop Don at a local celebration.
The local people enjoy wearing traditional festive ornamentation
at celebrations called "sing sings."

Bishop Don with Elijah Alembo, a member of the Huli Tribe.
He is a seminarian from the Diocese of Mendi.

Bishop Don with two Franciscan Sisters of Mary, an order of nuns
founded by Capuchin Bishop Firmin Schmidt O.F.M.Cap.  Sister Angela,
on the right, was born with a deformed arm.  This type of condition
often leads to abandonment.  The sisters at the mission church told her mother
that "God's spirit is in her.  Treat her as a normal child."  Sister Angela is now
working with young women who have joined the order.  Sister Angela is an
inspiration to all who come in contact with her.


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