Siassi Islands is a district of Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea and is part of the Lae Diocese. It is a remote area and is mainly accessible by boat. Beside few schools and health centers, the population of 20,000 people lacks basic services like electricity, communication, shops and good transport means. People live mainly from the products of their gardens and fishing. For shopping and hospital emergencies they have to go to Lae, 14 hours by boat.
The small catholic population is cared for by Fr Krzysytof Zacharuk, a Mariannhill missionary, who has to walk long distances or to take a boat to visit the faithful scattered on these islands. The Patrick Aupwel parish, situated on the coast line of the main island of Umboi, is in dire need of rebuilding its church old of 50 years. It is badly rusted and crumbling because of the tropical, salty climate. It has also become too small. The parishioners have been trying for years to raise funds, but they need help from outside. During his recent pastoral visit to the Catholic communities of the islands, bishop Rosario Menezes has made known that he supports and endorses the project presented by the people.