Capuchin missionaries arrived in the Southern Highlands of this beautiful island nation in 1956. The Seraphic Mass Association has been a major support for the mission from the first day! Scores of missionaries from the United States have served in Papua New Guinea, some for more than 50 years! When the first missionaries arrived, the people had been living for many generations as their ancestors had. It was and still is in some places quite primitive. The missionaries established churches and schools, health clinics and emergency relief centers. Over the years, Capuchin friars from England, Canada, the Philippines, and several European nations joined the American Capuchins to work in the mission, preaching the Gospel and sharing our Catholic faith. Today Capuchin missionaries from Tanzania, India and Kenya are mission partners in the Southern Highlands. Schools, clinics, solar panels, and other facilities are still needed. The SMA also provides significant assistance for maintaining existing facilities and purchasing replacement vehicles.