Posted by Brs. Paul Toohey / Gary Wilson
on 11 June 2021
Lasallians gathered at De La Salle Bomana for a Eucharistic celebration on May 15, to honour the day in 1950, when De La Salle was declared as Patron of All Teachers by Pope Pius XII. Subsequently, the bishops of PNG and the Solomon Islands declared this day to be "Catholic Teachers' Day" in their two countries. The day also honoured the four pioneer Brothers from Australia, who arrived 75 years ago in PNG. Students, Brothers, teachers and Lasallian Family members were present.
Br. Paul Toohey, himself a long-standing PNG teacher and formator outlined the event. "The Mass was led by Father Justin Nenat SVD (Vicar-General, Archdiocese of Port Moresby) and four concelebrants Fr. Pius To Eure (Secretary of Cardinal Sir John Ribat), Fr John Glynn, Fr. Michael Pakure MSC and Fr. Giorgio Licini PIME (General Secretary, PNGSI)". Jubilee Catholic College students and staff ably prepared the music and liturgical dance.
De La Salle's prophetic action, in assuming the work of Christian education to the poor of his town and country, at a time when he already had a comfortable future ahead for himself.
"In his homily, Fr John Glynn, a longtime associate of the Brothers, highlighted De La Salle's prophetic action, in assuming the work of Christian education to the poor of his town and country, at a time when he already had a comfortable future ahead for himself within the diocese of Rheims".
The occasion honoured the pioneer missionaries and the three Brothers buried at Mainohana by a new memorial wall, and a plaque. It was blessed and then unveiled by Mr. Joseph Mainteit, representing the Australian High Commissioner. In his short address, Mr. Mainteit expressed his thanks and admiration on behalf of the Australian Government to the Brothers and Lasallian teachers for their continuous contribution during the past 75 years to the lives of young people and to PNG as a nation.
A generously catered lunch followed, and the opportunity for all to mingle.