RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONS

There are presently eleven religious congregations in the Diocese of Aitape. The first ones to arrive in 1896 from Europe were the Society of the Divine Word and the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit. The Australian Franciscans took responsibility for the mission in 1947 and were joined in 1949 by the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

Over the next thirty years the

all came to the Diocese for Various apostolic work. Five congretations reluctantly withdrew because of a shortage of personnel, although one has plans to return when numbers increase.

Each congregation adds its own charism to the pastoral effort of the church in Aitape. They all have national members from several provinces of PNG or are wholly indegenous in membership. This means that they are intending to remain in the Diocese for a long time and become a feature of the local church, giving witness in a variety of ways to living Gospel for the welfare of others.