The Centenary celebration was held at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Boroko, where Archbishop of Port Moresby, John Cardinal Ribat, was the main celebrant.
“The Lord calls us and brings out the best in each one of us. Your lives have inspired and evoked a response in all of us,” said the Cardinal in his homily as he thanked and congratulated the Ancilla Domini (AD) sisters for giving generously to the people of Papua New Guinea for the past century.
The AD sisters are the second local congregation in the country and were founded in PNG by Archbishop Alain Marie Guynot de Boismenu, Vicar Apostolic of Papua on the 8th of April, 1918.
The Congregation was founded to provide support for the priests working in remote and isolated areas. Their ministry includes teaching, nursing, pastoral work, child care and health awareness in the villages. They are working in six dioceses in PNG and in Australia.
Currently, there are 35 sisters in the congregation and of these, three sisters are working in Australia.
Marking this important ceremony, the AD sisters renewed their vows after which they sang their beautiful ‘Ecce Ancilla Domini’ which expressed their total gift of self as Handmaids of the Lord, as Mary did in response to the angel’s message.
Sr. Mary Garnier AD, Mother Superior, thanked all who were present for the centenary celebrations. In particular, their founder Archbishop Alain de Boismenu, the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, who supported them as they took their first steps in Religious Life as well as during different periods of their 100 years.
She made special mention of two groups of people who have been with them all these years. “The Goilalas and the Kunis have been very supportive of us over the years,” said Sr Mary. She also thanked her sisters for the long hours and hard work to organise and celebrate the event.
“Our biggest thanks go to God, for calling us into existence and sustaining us for a hundred years. We ask the same God to lead and guide us in the next 100 years,” concluded Sr. Mary.