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Mission to Savo Island, Solomon Islands…another new beginning
On February 17 – 18, a new chapter began in the Solomon Islands Mission – we were given responsibility for the pastoral ministry on Savo Island, a volcanic island of western part of Guadalcanal. It has eight communities, dotted around the island, ranging in size from small to large. Our commitment is to visit Savo every month for a week, so that we can get around to each of the communities. Fr Brian O’Sullivan and Bro Gideon Tahunieti journeyed to the island and, over one weekend, ministered to three of the local communities of the district. Please keep us in your prayers as we respond to the call to serve the poor in the Solomon Islands.
Kadavu Mission, Fiji….New Beginnings
Returned from Kadavu last night, after 4 hours stranded at Vunisea Airport. They couldn’t shut the door of the plane, so I suggested to the Pilot if we could wear our parachutes ready, just in case!!!
I am enclosing some of the installation pix of PP and APP, Eliesa Kaituu and Lario Nacola in our St Michael Parish Kadavu Mission. There were over a thousand people that gathered in Nasalia, St Peter Chanel Church. Fr Suluo Turagakacivi, Vicar General–installed our two confrere on Saturday 03rd Feb 2018. It was a joyful, solemn and memorable occasion. The people of Kadavu were most hospital and generous. The food, the stories, the hymns, the ceremonies lifted our spirits as we have indeed come again to a place where we are much needed. The Kadavu Mission was initially opened by two Marist Fathers-SM, Frs Leberre & Fr Fauvel way back on June 1865.
In 1950, the old catechist in Kadavu remember a Fr Nere sm? who was to be the last priest in residence to have left the mission. The Cluny Sisters started moving back to Suva earlier in 1948. Catechist Anare Delaivuna, 83years old–vividly remembers the past, plagued with consistent prayers for priest to return and have some form of permanency in Kadavu. The joy in everyone’s faces, accepting and affirming our two confrere was truly felt. Our Vincentian community’s willingness was echoed by the Archbishop through the Vicar General was frequently mentioned. In turn, we have taken this onboard as Oceania Province with our conferers in Fiji and generously responded with some positivity. It is after some 68 years since Kadavy had full time resident priests. As CMs, we are indebted to the amount of priests, nuns, brothers and lay people who have travelled the Kadavu open sea and have given their commitment, their life to the people of Kadavu. Its intial days, Lari and Kaituu have already been listening and talking on the ground. LKadavu is really unlike that we have on our mission in Fiji. Kaituu and Lari will have so much to learn since Kadavu has been doing without resident priest for 68years! Hence their efforts will be providing pastoral care that only can be a plus to what the Kadavuans already have. We have faith in our men that they will be able to Serve–the people of Kadavu who have prayed for a priest all these years.
The late Fr Pelasio Vakarorogo cm was the first to enter and briefly stayed at the then newly built Nasalia St Peter Chanel Presbytery, Kadavu. It was fitting for Frs Kaituu and Lario to take up residence. After the Sunday Thanksgiving Mass, Lario was accompanied with Dan Waqairamasi (our pastoral student) to Vabea’s St Theresa Community, our second mission station. It was calm sea by 3.30pm noon, when they drove out to catch their outboard motor boat in the next village-10minutes away!!! As we stood there farewelling everyone who have come from different places for the 2 days installation and thanksgiving masses, like others –feeling privileged and blessed because we were here to do this, to serve! Our Vincentians who have come to serve in Kadavu different times, include Frs Pela, Peter Reedy, Joeli Nabogi, Joji Bilowalu, Papila Tonga and Joseva!!
By 9pm I called Lari and Dan–and they had just safely reached their Vabea Village as their host island. I was glad (& content). The future is unknown but promising! Another chapter, another beginning, the Spirit of Vincent in the Gospel lives on!
Joseva Tuimavule CM
Celebrating Commitment and Vows of Bro. Gideon Tahunietui CM
On Dec 12, 2017, at Good Shepherd Parish Church, Red Beach, Solomon Islands, we celebrated the vows of Bro Gideon Tahunieti CM. In this ceremony of commitment, Gideon declared, “…I will faithfully dedicate myself in the Congregation of the Mission, for the whole time of my life, to the evangelization of the poor, after the example of Christ evangelizing…” Well done, Gideon, and we pray that the Spirit of the Lord will continue to empower you with strength of service.