Archived News Item

Papua New Guinean Sisters Nourish Their Creative Side

On Chairs L to R: Emma Awehi RSM, Doreen Mainick RSM, Maryanne Kolkia RSM, Catherine Jambert RSM On the floor: Mathilda Paro RSM, Sophie Samiak RSM, Marianna Kawagle Kolkia RSM, Mariska Kua RSM, Meryline Yasaku RSM, Janet Andrew RSM, Doris Kaip RSM



An art retreat was held at Callan House in Mt Hagen in December, 2017, which was facilitated by Margaret Broadbent RSM. Sr Broadbent was invited by the Initial Formation Team to offer her artistic talent to direct this creative retreat for the six newer members and five other finally professed Sisters who chose to attend. 


The retreat included quiet time for prayer and reflection, as well as time for sharing and reflection about participants’ paintings. This helped the Sisters deepen their own spirituality, as well as contributing to building a stronger sense of understanding and community in the group.


The request from the Sisters present for more art retreats obviously reflects the benefit and enjoyment gained!


“I am very grateful to Margaret Broadbent RSM for her contribution to the Initial Formation Program in offering this special retreat to the Sisters of Mercy in Papua New Guinea,” said Joan Doyle RSM, Director of Initial Formation.


At the end of the art retreat an evaluation session was held where Sisters were asked to share some of the highlights of the days that past. Maryanne Kolkia RSM offered to be scribe and collator of the Sisters insights as they spoke to the group.


“Maryanne did a great job and we are very grateful for her generosity,” said Margaret Broadbent RSM.


Below is a list of their insights:

  • “A first time and a new experience that is unique and different deep within.”
  • “Experiencing God in different ways through painting, drawing and dancing – giving more energy.”
  • “Refreshing time – meeting God in your own world, exploring and experiencing God within you.”
  • “Helpful, never had I expressed myself that well, realizing that God creates individuals perfectly and differently.”
  • “Confused to begin with since it’s my first time but becomes interesting and exciting.
  • “New experiences with motivation and strengthening.”
  • “Good experience – learning new techniques to paint – like to know more.”
  • “Realization of SELF and its goodness in myself and others – embracing myself and others as the best ever.”
  • “Feeling good – having the best self-esteem.”
  • “Explosion of colours – that’s how God is in the universe, allowing us to explore and experience God in nature.”
  • “Listen with respect – hear each other talking through with courage and conviction.”
  • “Speaking out in truth and honesty for the first time – being true to self among others within the group.”
  • “Art retreat sets out a new journey for us as a team specially called for a special and unique purpose.”
  • “God talking to me and me talking to God.”
  • “Inspires me, helps me to look at God differently.”
  • “Helps me to see others with deep respect, looks at individual with new perspectives.”
  • “Strengthens part of me, something that was within me came out.”
  • “Every painting/drawing we do shows our uniqueness, bringing us together to share our gifts.”
  • “What I am creating is me, different from other retreats.”


“We would like to convey our sincere word of gratitude and deep appreciation to Joan for arranging this art retreat with Margaret and extending the invitation to the senior Sisters to also attend,” said Maryanne Kolkia RSM. “We acknowledge the support given through the office of our Northern Community and ISMAPNG; and we recommend more art retreats in the future.”


The art retreat was the first one Margaret Broadbent RSM has run in Papua New Guinea, as well as her first time visiting the land and Sisters of Papua New Guinea.


“The art experience was more than I could have imagined and I learnt many new things,” said Sr Margaret.


“I wish to thank Claudia who did everything she could to help make the preparations for the art retreat in such a good way,” she continued. “Claudia and her wonderful helpers, Lucy, Rachel, Doreen and Mariana who provided the daily nourishment for each of us – a big thank you!!  All that you did for us during the week, from cooking and going to the market to buy food was so much appreciated.  All of us were nourished in so many ways and on so many levels.”


Messages to: Joan Doyle RSM, Maryanne Kolkia RSM, and Margaret Broadbent RSM.


Maryanne Kolkia RSM







Mathilda Paro RSM