BALIMO, Papua New Guinea (PNG) - He said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches..."(Mark 4:30-32). This is how St. Joseph’s Community in Balimo Western Province, Daru-Kiunga Diocese in PNG started with merely a handful of families desiring to be baptized into the Catholic faith.
A village, predominated by the Evangelical Church of Papua New Guinea (ECP), was insisting that we go to them and bring the Good News. Listening ardently to the insistence of the people, a priest and a brother began to visit the community few times in a year. The number of the Christians grew steadily, and the involvement of the people in the church activities and other social activities blossomed. Today, St. Joseph’s community has become a full-fledged parish having Fr. Aloi SMM as the parish priest.
Among the many initiatives undertaken by the parish, rice farming is the outstanding. The idea initiated by Fr. Mateus Juang SMM who often said; “It is not enough to feed the soul, we need to feed their stomach”, has now become a reality under the leadership of Fr. Aloi SMM.
In the pictures above, you see Fr. Aloi SMM, tilling the land for rice farming as well as teaching and training people to do likewise. When faith and action go together, there is life, and life in all its fullness. I invite you to pray for our confreres serving in remote places doing their best to walk in the footsteps of Father de Montfort.
-Fr. Rozario Menezes, SMM