FROM 1963, I WAS THE PASTOR at Touriboru in Buin and then, from 1966-69, the Catholic Mission Education Officer living in Buka.
I was sent home by my missionary order after an affair with a local teacher became public. There was a child. I never saw my son but knew he existed.
At the time, I was not ready to give up the priesthood. But, some years later, I did marry where I still live, in New Orleans. My wife died six years ago.
God was good to me and one night I received a call as I was sitting alone at home.
The woman had a definite Australian accent and asked to speak with Patrick Mallinson.
I hesitated and the woman said that maybe I wasn't the person they were looking for.
I asked, hesitantly, which one she was looking for. "Were you once Father Pat?" she asked.
When I said yes she yelled: "Alleluia, we have been searching the web for over a year looking for you. I am married to your son and you have four beautiful grandchildren in Australia!"
I almost fell over but I thank God that he gave me a new life as father and grandfather. I was on the plane to Perth by the end of the month.
That was in June 2010 and we have been in close contact since.
I am proud and thankful to share that story with PNG Attitude readers.
I never knew where or how to reconnect with my son. I didn't know his stepfather's name and I didn't want to rock any boat.
He said he felt the same and waited until his stepfather died and then started to search.
It has been a joyous reunion. We believe my wife and his stepfather got together in heaven, pulled a few strings and presto!