Homily on the occasion of the Requiem Mass at Holy Spirit Seminary Chapel, September 3rd, for Fr Ziggy Kruczek CSMA by the President of CTI Fr David Willis OP
Most Rev John Ribat MSC, Arch-bishop of Port Moresby, Most Rev. Don Lippert OFM Cap., Bishop of Mendi, our Graduation Speaker this morning, Rt Rev. Peter Ramsden, Anglican Bishop of Port Moresby, Fr Ben Fleming MSC, Vicar General of the Diocese of Port Moresby and Chairman of the Rectors' Board, Fr Peter Artiken, Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, Fr Zenon Szablowinski SVD, Dean of CTI, Distinguished Guests, Rectors of associated colleges, and faculty of CTI, clergy, religious brothers and sisters, graduating students and their families and friends, students and friends of CTI
I now acknowledge our 37 students graduating today. This is a very special day for each one of you, for your families, your friends and for all of us who have been part of your life and, in particular, have been part of your academic progress to this point.
This year it is a great pleasure for me to witness three of our Anglican priest-brothers graduating: Br Oswald Dumbari, Provincial Minister, Order of St Francis, graduating with the Diploma in Religious Studies and Fr George Kasme and Fr Luscomb Bera, graduating with the Advanced Diploma of Religious Studies. Congratulations to the three of you.
Also I would like to single out for special mention another one of our graduating students, Mr Alfred Kaiabe. Alfred, a practising lawyer, is graduating today with the Diploma in Religious Studies. He began his studies in 2003. But his many commitments over the years have meant that his academic journey has been a slow and deliberate one. Congratulations, Alfred, both for persevering with your studies over those many years and for meriting the Diploma in Religious Studies.
To all our graduating students, may the diplomas and degrees you receive today be a reminder of your preparedness to contribute to both the life of the Church and the wider community in the coming years.
Today brings to a close our Golden Jubilee year of HSS-CTI. Holy Spirit Seminary celebrated over the long weekend from Friday 23rd August till Sunday the 25th August. The late Bishop Tony Burgess joined us on this occasion while knowing that he had only a short time to live. He passed away just two months later on the morning of October 23rd. Also, sadly, we recall the death of Bishop Patrick Taval MSC, a graduate of this institute and a member of its Governing Council when he passed away in April, a few weeks after the CBC General Assembly. We remembered them both in our Liturgy this morning.
CTI’s own day given to the Golden Jubilee celebrations was Friday 26th June, CTI Day. There were many highlights of that day, if I could name two: the dialogue, after the community meal, with the students and Archbishop Ribat, Bishops Rochus Tatamia, John Doaninowel and Bernard Una-bali. The other highlight for me, was the Singkai lecture delivered by Fr Jurgen Ommerborn SVD, entitled, “the Early Academic Development of the Holy Spirit Seminary – the Roots of CTI”.
Another important event that I want to highlight this year was the Seminar “Social Networks: Portals of Truth And Faith; New Spaces For Evangelization” organzed by Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, secretary to the Catholic Bishops Conference for Social Communications. We plan to have a further seminar on social communications in 2014.
You may have noticed scaffolding around the building opposite the CTI Library. In this Jubilee Year our staff residence, Vangeke House, is in the process of undergoing renovations. I want to publicly thank two funding agencies for their support of this work: Missio Munich and Church in Need, Konigstein.
This year we farewell Sr Elizabeth Dowling RSM. Sr Elizabeth has only been with us for a term, but we are most thankful for her contribution to campus life. We wish you well, Sr Elizabeth, in your future academic work at the Australian Catholic University, Ballarat Campus.
Brian Gleeson CP left us in early October after a demanding five-week lecturing schedule. We are also most grateful for his significant contribution this year to CTI.
We also farewell, for a one year sabbatical, Fr Fredy Jehadin SVD. Thank you Fr Fredy for your contribution to CTI over the past few year. We wish you well during your period of renewal in Melbourne, Australia and we hope to see you back at CTI in 2015.
Though they are not lecturers at CTI, we farewell Fr Peter Miria, Vice-Rector of HSS and Fr Arthur Boland OFM. Fr Peter has been with us these last three years. Fr Arthur is returning to Australia after spending forty eight years in PNG.
Finally, we farewell Fr Peter Artiken, Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary. Fr Peter has been associated with Holy Spirit Seminary, first as Vice-Rector, then as Rector, for the last thirteen years. Thank you Fr Peter for your support over the past six years. On behalf of the CTI community I wish you well in your future ministry.
I would like to thank the following for their contributions to CTI this year: the Governing Council, the Rectors Board, the Faculty Board, the Academic Dean, Fr Zenon Szablowinski, Elias Zambra, SRC President and the rest of the outgoing SRC executive. Finally I would like to thank the ancillary staff for its contribution to the daily life of CTI.
I now wish everyone a fruitful end of year break and a peaceful Christmas. Thank you very much for your attention this morning.
Fr David Willis OP
Catholic Theological Institute
16 November, 2013
Holy Spirit Seminary, the largest formation institution for diocesan seminarians in PNG, celebrated its Golden Jubilee at its Bomana Campus from Friday 23rd till Sunday 25th August. The weekend was well attended and was filled with music, dancing, speeches and Masses. By Sunday evening there were a lot of tired but happy faces on the seminary grounds. Celebrations got under way on Friday afternoon when the Kivori Poe village people presented traditional dancing at the spot where classes were held after the seminary transferred from Madang in the late nineteen sixties.
The highlight of Saturday morning’s celebrations was the Golden Jubilee Mass celebrated by Archbishop Ribat MSC. Concelebrants included the newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Michael Barach, Archbishop Young and Bishops Burgess and Blouin. A good number of priests, religious and laity all took part in the Mass. Speeches followed and then the rest of the day was celebrated in traditional style with dancing and musical entertainment. Archbishop Young was the celebrant at Sunday morning Mass and afterrwards traditional dancing continued from the Siassi , Nabupaka, Kivori Poe communities and others. At the conclusion of the Mass Bp Blouin presented to Holy Spirit Seminary a First Class Relic of St John Vianny, Curé of Ars and the patron saint of parish priests, accepted with appreciation by Abp Young on behalf of the Rector, Fr Peter Artiken.
Fr Peter Miria, the chairman of the Jubilee Organizing Committee, and himself a member of one of the early group of seminarians – he began his studies at Holy Spirit Seminary in 1968 - was delighted with the weekend. “It has given us an opportunity to thank God for his blessings over the past fifty years and to acknowledge and thank so many bishops, priests and laity who continue to support us. We look forward with confidence to the seminary’s future years.” Fr Peter Artiken, himself a student at the seminary in the mid 1980s, also expressed his satisfaction with the weekend and thanked the organizers and all who attended. He too, expressed his thanks to benefactors and all who helped organize the weekend. The weekend events were the culmination of many years of planning. Fr David Willis, the president of Catholic Theological Institute, the institution responsible for the academic formation for seminarians, gave a brief outline of the seminary’s history.
“It began in 1963 at Kap, Madang. In that year there were about thirty students from various regions of the country: Manus Island, Bougainville, Yule Island, Wewak, Goroka and four students were from the Solomon Islands. In 1965 the bishops decided to transfer Holy Spirit Seminary to Bomana, thus establishing one major seminary in the country for clerical religious and seminarians, staffed by MSC and SVD priests. Over time other religious orders built houses on the seminary campus.”
Many development have taken place over the years, Fr Willis commented, especially since the early nineties with the emergence of other seminaries in PNG and the Solomon Islands, and the establishment of Catholic Theological Institute in 1999, but today’s celebration is an important milestone for the Catholic Church in this country.”
- Fr David Willis, O.P.
President of CTI
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Most Rev John Ribat, Most Rev. Rochus Tatamai, distinguished guests, Rectors and Faculty of CTI, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, graduating students and their families and friends, students and friends of CTI,
I especially acknowledge today the Graduating students of 2012. This is a very special day for you, for your families, your friends and, indeed, for all of us who have been part of your academic progress to this point.
This year and next brings us to a period of anniversaries. 2012, in particular, has been a significant anniversary year for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Fifty years ago, in 1962 De Boismenu Seminary came into existence, and so on October 6th this year the MSCs commemorated its Golden Jubilee. The occasion was marked by the celebration of Mass, followed by lunch and cultural presentations. Bishop Taval, a past student of De Boismenus College, as it is now called, was the main celebrant, and amongst the dignitaries present was the Superior General of the MSC’s Very Rev. Fr. Mark McDonald and the Deputy Prime Minister of PNG, the Rt Hon. Leo Dion. Congratulations from all of us go to Fr Ben Fleming, the present Rector of the College, and to his MSC confreres for their contribution, first to Holy Spirit Seminary, and since 1999, to Catholic Theological Institute.
Holy Spirit Seminary began its Golden Jubilee celebrations this year which will conclude next year for on March 1st 1963 Holy Spirit Seminary came into existence at Kap, near Madang, staffed by the Society of the Divine Word. In 1968 it moved to Bomana, and De Boismenu Seminary affiliated to it. 1st March 2013 therefore will be a significant date for Fr Peter Artiken, Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, and its staff and seminarians. It will also be a significant day for the Society of the Divine Word under whose auspices Holy Spirit Seminary came into existence. These are the celebrations of the two foundational entities from which CTI came to be in 1999 and thus are therefore profoundly significant for Catholic Theological Institute itself.
2012 has also been notable for the completion of two new buildings on campus. The Capuchin Friars have transformed their old friary into a fine building and the Dominicans have added a wing to their present college. My congratulations to the rectors of the two colleges: Fr Jonathan Williams and Fr Martin Wallace.
This year we farewell three lecturers, Frs Justin Eke, Ben Madden and Tom McDonough: I Thank Fr Justin for his contribution to CTI over the past 4 years. Fr Justin will undertake post graduate studies in Rome in the near future. Fr Ben Madden returns early next year to the United States, having spent over 50 years in PNG, including a number of years lecturing at CTI. Fr Tom McDonough leaves us at the end of this academic year as has been elected provincial of the Australian province of the Passionists. We congratulate him on his election and wish him well in his new role. We hope to see him from time to time when he comes to PNG on visitation. Today we also farewell Fr Kiade Rayalu, Rector of Marist College. I thank him for his contribution to CTI over the past 3 years and wish him well in his new appointment that will take him to New Caledonia.
CTI has enjoyed a long association with the Anglican Church in PNG and it is a great pleasure for me to witness today two of our Anglican brothers graduating with the Diploma in Religious Studies, Fr George Kasme and Fr Luscomb Bera. Congratulations to you both.
On a sad note I mention the recent deaths of two past students of CTI, Fr Toma’ Akino Lakai SM from Tonga and Mr Chris Ulena from Buka. They died in the same car accident on Buka just a few days ago. We prayed for them at our Eucharist this morning and I offer my condolences to Fr Kiade and the Marist community. May Toma and Chris rest in peace.
On a happier note, I would like to thank the following for their contributions to CTI this year: the Governing Council, the Rectors Board, the Faculty Board, the Academic Dean, Fr Zenon Szablowinski, the outgoing SRC executive and, last but not least, the ancillary staff. Amongst the ancillary staff I want to single out, Mrs Dulcie Siriman who is retiring after working for ten years at CTI. Our thanks to Dulcie for her long years of service to CTI in administration. We wish her every blessing and success in her future endeavors.
Finally, dear graduating students, may the diplomas and degrees you receive today be a reminder to you of your preparedness to contribute generously to both the life of the Church and the wider community in the coming years.
I now wish everyone a fruitful end of year break and a peaceful Christmas. Thank you very much.
Fr David Willis OP.
[President, Catholic Theological Institute]
2010 got off to a good start with the ordination of a deacon - Brother Timothy Aihora of the Dominicans - as a deacon. Sadly, Bishop Cherubim, seen here praying the Prayer of Ordination, passed from this life later in the year. Our new deacon is currently undertaking pastoral training at St Joseph's, Boroko.
Fr Joseph Vnuk O.P. is President of Catholic Theological Institute.