New Guinea Gold stops work at Mt Sinivit
Elites & education: John Kadiba on Ulli Beier

Shouldn't Sister Rosina’s be PNG’s first saint?


Connie Gladman (also known as Sr Mary Rosina), who was beheaded in New Britain while working as a teaching nunI REALLY DON'T KNOW whether to laugh or cry about this.

MOVES are afoot to have a former Koroit district woman murdered in Papua New Guinea 47 years ago declared Australia’s second Catholic saint. Connie Gladman, known as Sister Rosina, was beheaded in her classroom in New Britain while working as a teaching nun among impoverished communities. Now her family has instigated an official request for canonisation as a martyr for her faith [The Warrnambool Standard]

It seems that Connie Gladman’s sisters have written to the Catholic bishop of New Britain to set the official wheels in motion.

My question is why should Sister Mary Rosina be an Australian saint, as she was murdered (martyred?) in PNG?

Anyway I thought you needed two proven miracles.  Or maybe the family is merely angling for a 'Blessed'.

What next - St Michael of Somare?

Speaking as a backsliding Protestant, I'm rather amused.


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Phil Fitzpatrick

Do you remember Father "Butch" Bouchard from Kiunga who crashed into the Hindenberg Wall near Bolibip in his plane and died?

Great bloke. As was Father Deshaies at Bolibip who Warren Dutton tells me is back in Canada. Great bunch of nuns there too - baked the most beautiful croissants in PNG!

Robin Mead

Interesting point Phil, I got to thinking about the many who worked up there, and remember some who worked quietly for many years in out of the way places for little material reward.

In Western Province I still know several nuns and a priest who put in quite a few years in quite a few out of the way places.

Phil Fitzpatrick

It would be interesting to know how many missionaries were killed in PNG - there must have been dozens of them.

I recall the famous Chalmers and Tomkins case in the Gulf in 1901 and the two SVD missionaries Fr Morschheuser and Br Eugene in the Simbu in the 1930s. And, of course, many lost their lives in WW2.

I also recall a missionary being killed just over the border in West Papua around 1969 when I was at Olsobip because we went on high alert.

With the propensity of the locals to solve issues by murder and violence and without the backup of a police contingent they were sitting ducks.

We've got a list of dead kiaps, maybe we need one for the missionaries - not that I'm volunteering.

Robin Mead

I find this not a matter of amusement, but rather of sadness. The issue may be worth reporting, but not taking shots at deceased individuals or families of people who can't answer back.

The bottom line seems to be that a lady on active duty for her service was killed - horribly - in the line of duty, in what was then an Australian territory.

Now, like with an unrecognised military veteran killed on active service, members of her family seek recognition from the service organisation. They may or may not get it, but there will be a process.

I am not motivated by strong religious convictions either, however gawking at the expense of innocent people isn't funny.

Neither is equating or linking them to politics or personal soapboxes. Unfortunately for that we already have radio shock jocks and tabloid press huffing and puffing, and that is more than enough.

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