Priest rewarded after 53 years of service


A CATHOLIC priest who has spent 53 years in remote rural parts of the country helping people with spiritual, social and material development has been recognised by the Government.
Fr Joseph Bisson, a Divine Word missionary received the Logohu Award  “Star of Melanesia” from Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae in Port Moresby on Thursday.
It was “for service to the Catholic Church and the Highlands community as a Divine Word priest for over 53 years in the areas of education, health and pastoral care.”
There were 59 other Logohu Award recepients.
Bisson, from the United States, was ordained a priest in 1963 and came to PNG in 1964.
He began his missionary service in Sari, Enga.
He was in Koibuga to learn the Melpa Tok ples and was able to preach in the Melpa language as the people did not know Pidgin or English.
Bisson then served in Mun for 22 years and in Kiripia for 29 years.
In the early years he worked with missionaries like Fr William Ross, Fr Arnold Steffan and Fr Jerry Bus.
He did a Masters in Education degree and was the Vicar for Education in the Diocese of Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, for many years.
Over the 53 years, Bisson had been in remote parts of PNG for the spiritual, social and material development of people.
He has worked in primary evangelisation and shared a Bible reflection every Friday for 20 minutes through Catholic Radio Triniti FM in Mt Hagen.
Bisson was involved with renewal programmes in the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen through Movement for a Better World.
He was the chairman of the National Charismatic Service Committee in PNG for many years.