Simgo District

SIMGO DISTRICT

SVD SIMGO District covers two government Provinces (the Eastern Highlands Province and Simbu province) and two Dioceses, namely: the Diocese of Kundiawa and the Goroka Diocese. Divine Word Missionary pioneers included Fr Alfons Shaeffer SVD and Fr John Nilles SVD. In 1934 Fr. Shaeffer started evangelisation in Mingende in what is now the Simbu province. His ministry was interupted by the Japanese invasion of PNG, however, after three years, in 1946, he and Fr Niles were able to return to Mingende and Denglagu. Later Fr. Nilles began sharing the Gospel with Simbu people who through marriage ties had moved into what is now the Goroka area of the Eastern Highlands.

The pioneers of this district focused their attention on parish ministry and education. These ministries continue, but now confreres in the Simbu District work in a number of specialised apostolates, namely: pastoral centres focusing on lay leadership and formation; workshops and vocational school run by SVD Brothers; retreat centre that enhances spiritual well-being of the laity, the clergy and religious missionaries; a Gutpela Sindaun centre that provides training for local people to process food from their garden products; higher Education ministry; and Melanesian Institute—which is an ecumenical research centre focusing its research on pastoral and socio-cultural issues affecting the life of the people and evangelisation in Melanesia. The Melanesian Institute disseminates its research findings by teaching and publication including the Point series and Catalyst. This Melanesian Institute as a research centre continues to promote the Anthropos tradition in the Papua New Guinea Province.