History of the Province

It all began with a handful of teenagers in 1841. Don Bosco soon had several hundred kids coming to him on Sundays for Mass, religious instruction and an afternoon of recreation. They met wherever he could find enough space mostly in vacant lots. Don Bosco called this informal Sunday gathering the Oratory. Some of the kids who frequented it were homeless and all of them were poor and abandoned.

From among his young Oratory animators he formed a religious community of brothers and priests dedicated to youth ministry. First there were 18 “Salesians” ranging in age from 16 to 22 years of age. From then they grew rapidly. “The Salesians,” said venerable Fulton Sheen, “remind me of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. The growth of the society is due to the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Don Bosco and nothing short of a miracle.”

Brief History

Archbishop Virgil Copas MSC of Kerema had insistently invited the Salesians to his Diocese. Similarly the Nuncio to PNG and Solomon Islands, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Luca Cordero di Montezzemolo saw the urgent need of the Diocese of Kerama and he personally followed up the request of the Archbishop through the Propagada Fide. However the Australian Province had just accepted to start a presence in Samoa so they did not accept the invitation.

Due to the Holy See’s insistence Fr. Egidio Viganò, Rector Major, eventually asked the Provincial of the Philippine Province (Fr. José Carbonell) to take up the responsibility to start a presence in Papua New Guinea.

Upon the request of Archbishop Adrian Smith of Honiara, Fr. Juan Edmundo Vecchi, Rector Major, asked the Province of Japan to respond to the invitation. Fr. Pedro Balcazar and Br. Francis Tanaka arrived in the Solomon Islands on 27 October 1995. On October 30 Archbishop Adrian Smith brought them to Tetere where Fr. Balcazar was installed parish priest of Christ the King Parish. A year later, after a year of English course in Australia, they were joined by Fr. Pedro Nishizawa who was appointed in-charge of the presence. In 1994 the Provincial Delegation of PNG of Philippines North Province was established. Upon the request of the Province of Japan on 1 April 2005 the 2 houses in Solomon Islands were joined to those of PNG giving birth to the Provincial Delegation of PNG-SI. In December 23, 2015 Fr. Ángel Fernández established the Vice-Province of Blessed Philip Rinaldi.