Papua New Guinean Patrician History
In 1968 the Australian Province moved into another stage of its history with the Brothers becoming involved with education in Papua New Guinea. As in the Australian story, this branch began in Papua New Guinea through the invitation of a Bishop: Ignatius Doggett. He was the bishop of the Diocese of Aitape in the West Sepik Province and had been a student of the Patricians at Holy Cross College at Ryde.

He invited the brothers to take over the administration of a secondary school in his diocese. Two Brothers were sent with one of these Brothers, Brother Charles Barry, becoming the principal of St Ignatius High School in Aitape.
In 1978 Brother Charles was asked to carve a school out of the jungles of the Nuku distrist on the other side of the mountain range from Aitape. The transformation was miraculous as he and Brother Michael Vella worked with the local people to create a very fine school and campus.

Brother Charles then became something of a trouble-shooter as he was asked to be principal of Lumi High School (the government high school) and then Aitape High School (also a government school) so that he might be able to lift them out of the difficulties they were experiencing. He did.

Since 1968 the twenty-seven Australian, Irish, and Indian Patrician Brothers who spent time in Papua New Guinea made a significant contribution to education in Papua New Guinea, with roles in teaching, school administration, school and National curriculum.

In 1987 the Brothers were able to accept the first group of Papua New Guineans for training and formation as Patrician Brothers. Brothers Michael Vella and Philip Turner took on the daunting task of religious formation in a foreign culture.
The formation centres were at first at the Nuku school and then expanded to Laingim. But eventually through the great dedication of these Brothers, especially Philip Turner, Aitape became the Patrician formation centre.

For several years the corridors of the formation house were quiet. In 2001 plans again were drawn up for a new formation strategy. This included Brother Norbert Yeku doing formation training in India. Also in 2001 a 'Come and See' group was introduced to the way of life of a Patrician. In 2002 these men returned for further training as postulants and in August 2003 began their novitiate programme.

In December, 2010, eight Papua New Guinean men made their First Professions as Patrician Brothers.


Over the years so far the Brothers have been involved the several ministries: teaching at Aitape, Nuku, Lumi, and Wewak; health workers in Aitape; mission maintenance; brick and tank manufacturing; and in Wewak with Callan Services for persons with a disability.

Today (2020) there are four Papua New Guinean Patricians, two in Aitape and two in Walamu. They minister in the local parishes and in Patrician formation.

Further information on the history of the Brothers in Papua New Guinea is available on request to the archivist: