Posted by Cameron Streeter
on 12 September 2019
In August 2019, the Lasallian Volunteers in Papua New Guinea went on a road trip to Mainohana to facilitate the last of the new Lasallian Retreats, for year 11 students. This final retreat was based around figuring out their personal state of mind as they start their last year of school. The same retreat will also be conducted at De La Salle Secondary School Bomana in Term 4. After an enjoyable year of four other successful retreats for all grades, it was a great way to conclude our work there.
Whilst at Mainohana, we utilise our manpower in other areas of the school, such as one-off religion and personal development lessons, as well as assisting the maintenance department with endless repair jobs. We do our best to lend a helping hand wherever we're needed.
Over the course of the year, the volunteers have been able to develop relationships with students, who have never had someone like a youth minister in their school before. Even though we only stay a week at a time, students began to trust us and would seek us out for a conversation. It was a blessing for us to act as short term ministers for these students this year.
Our involvement at Mainohana Catholic Secondary School (MCSS) this year has enabled their students to attend Lasallian events in Port Moresby such as our Opening Tercentenary Year Mass, the Lasallian Student Leadership Seminar PNG and the National Lasallian Family Gathering. In fact, at the National Gathering, Mainohana students performed a drama telling the story of the Lasallian mission here in PNG; when the Brothers first arrived all the way to what we see today.
Upon concluding our program at MCSS, the administration gave us many thanks and even hosted a special dinner in our honour. Mrs Mary Apini, Principal of Mainohana Catholic Secondary School, stated, "I want to thank the Lasallians for giving their time to serve our school The students have loved having you around", and Sr. Antoinette, Deputy Principal, said, "On behalf of the students I want to thank you for imparting your wisdom and fun games onto us!" Fr. Jeremiah, School Chaplain, also praised the retreats for, "enhancing student's development and understanding of faith".
On behalf of the LV's in PNG, I want to formally thank the administration of Mainohana for the invitation to come and work at the school. It has been an amazing experience for us, and we are very glad our retreats were accepted positively. Thank you to all the student leader helpers too. I must also give a huge thank you to Madeline Fakepo and the Guest House for looking after us so well with 5-star hospitality during our stays. We will always remember the memories we made in that house together!
I hope going forward in the future, the Lasallian spirit can begin to blossom again in Mainohana, and our Lasallian retreats can continue to run in their school. None the less, Mainohana has been an amazing experience for the students and volunteers alike this year.