Connections with Papua New Guinea:
The Community of the Visitation
C.H.N. connections with Papua New Guinea date from 1951, when Bishop Strong invited the Sisters to help care for missionaries in the Province. At the time, no high school education was available for local girls, so the Sisters decided to found the Holy Name School at Dogura. It opened in 1954.
When two young Papuan women, who had received higher education at the school in its early years, requested that a religious community be established for Papuan women, a strong bond was formed between the Community of the Holy Name and the fledgling Community of the Visitation, or CV.
In 1964, with the blessing of the Bishop of New Guinea, the Community of the Visitation was established at Popondetta, in the Northern District of Papua. For more than fifteen years, its Sisters were trained and nurtured by Sisters of the Community of the Holy Name.The Community of the Visitation is now wholly independent, but the two communities continue to exchange visits.
In November 2010, when Sister Carol and Sister Valmai went to Papua, the CV Sisters had been going through a difficult time, but when the two CHN Sisters arrived, they found a happy and hopeful little Community. Sisters of the Community of the Visitation continue a strong ministry in their local area.
In August 2011, Sr Valmai returned to PNG with Srs Josephine and Avrill. They joined the CV Sisters at the deconsecration of their chapel, which had become structurally unsafe.
The CV Sisters are well known for their generous hospitality and many speak of the refreshment they received during a time spent with the Sisters. A steady stream of people, mainly women, come for renewal, advice and healing. This valuable work is not contained only within Popondetta but small groups of Sisters also travel regularly to other villages and islands to minister to families in need, sometimes for weeks on end.
The Sisters try to be self-sufficient, working hard in their garden at Hetune to grow their own vegetables, while local villagers often bring them gifts of food. CHN Associates and other friends in Australia and the Diocesan Church have given financial support. However, some sources have dried up and the Sisters are in constant need.
If you would like to offer financial assistance, please contact Sr. Valmai on 03 9583 2087.