Fr. Augustine Mamia died
Just manage to get back on timeline to announce the sad news. Fr Augustine Mamia a senior diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Rabaul and was on loan to Kerema Diocese since 2006 died at 12.10pm today St. Mary's Hospital Private Ward, Vunapope, ENB. He was diagnose with spleen and malaria and was hospitalized since last week.
He was courageous to accept my invitation to be on loan to Kerema Diocese when we needed extra priest. He took up the post of Parish Priest at Terapo and also was consultor to Bishop John Paul Marx MSC and then also to late Bishop Patrick Taval MSC. He was a dedicated and simple Pastor to the communities around Terapo covering Malalaua, Moveave, Kukipi, Putei, Moripi just to name some of the communities he dedicated his time and energy to being a presence and availability for the sacraments.
He was my supervisor at St Patrick's Parish, Malmal, Pomio District ENBP when I was a seminarian on Pastoral Experience. He was only ordained priest at the end of 1985 and first posted as PP to Malmal. He allowed me to do all the Religious Instructions and taught Choir to the high school students at Palmalmal High School. He served a short time as Chaplain to the Defence Force and was engaged in Bougainville during the civil crisis. He then returned to Parishes in the archdiocese of Rabaul and was Parish Priest of Kimbe during the transition and erection of the new Diocese of Kimbe.
When I was consecrated Bishop in 2005 at the Basilica of Bl. Peter ToRot at Rakunai, he was the Parish Priest of Vunadidir. He was the first to invite me as Bishop to his parish and during the introduction he made this famous remarks " Now you see Bishop Rochus...when he was a seminarian on Pastoral experience in1986 I was a Priest and he was a Brother and seminarian, later he was ordained a priest in1989 so he was priest and I was also a priest...now he is consecrated Bishop and I'm still a priest." yes in his humorous way and simplicity communicated our long term friendship and companionship between a Priest and seminarian, then between brother priests then later the father son relationship between Bishop and Priest as well as colleagues and collaborators in the Lord's rich vineyard of Kerema and Bereina. May the Lord bless his soul and grant him peace and let perpetual light shine upon him, now and forever.