Laity celebrations in New Caledonia
During Easter the Third Order of Mary (the most numerous branch of the Marist laity in New Caledonia, with about 1,600 members) had two opportunities to meet despite the distances separating each group.
The first time was to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord on Easter Monday in the chapel of Dumbéa-sur-Mer, about 15 km north of Noumea.
The second time, on the 28th of April, for the 176th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Pierre Chanel, in the chapel of Saint-Michel, on leaving Noumea. On both occasions, some 200 people came to share the joy of the risen Lord, living among us, who led Father Chanel to Oceania.
Lively Masses in Wallisian were presided over by Father Georges Sao, a diocesan priest from Wallis, assisted by Fr. François Grossin, who read (in French) the part of the Eucharistic prayer which belongs to the Concelebrants.
The Third Order will meet for the third time on 14 May in La Conception, about 10 km south of Noumea, for the 60th anniversary of the official presence of the Third Order in New Caledonia. Other pigs will be sacrificed! We expect a lot of people.
On March 24, the Marist Laity Office resumed its meetings in the parish "kiosk" of Rivière Salée, with representatives of each of the laity branches claiming Marist spirituality. This meeting made it possible to review the activities of last year, and to present the projects for this year, always numerous, testifying to the dynamism of each of the branches.
The Marist Cells, following the encyclical of Pope Francis, are committed to participate in the reforestation of a parcel of the Ouen Toro, in Noumea, with an ecological association. In 2018, they plan a trip to neighboring Vanuatu in response to the trip to New Caledonia last year, of some 70 members of the Vanuatu Cells who came to participate in the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the presence of the Catholic Church in Maré, In the Loyalty Islands.
'Long live these exchanges between the lay Marsists of these churches!', says Fr François Grossin, who accompanies Marist Laity in New Caledonia.
|Above: Easter Monday at Dumbéa. Below: Costumary departure gesture of the Vanuatu Marist Cells, in Maré | St Peter Chanel's feast at Montravel|
From 24 - 28 April, 12 members of the Fiji Region met at the Nazareth Prayer Center, Wailekutu, for their annual retreat with the theme 'Called to do the Work of Mary in Fiji'.
Fr Alois Greiler from Germany, in Fiji as part of his sabbatical year, preached the retreat.
The beautiful place and chapel, the atmosphere of silence and prayer, the common celebration of the Eucharist and the office were very helpful to use this unique time of the year for a religious.
The final meal, on the feast of Peter Chanel, featured a fine meal, ice cream and words of gratitude!
May God bless each participant on his way back to daily life.
Vicar-Provincial's visit to New Caledonia
Fr Tino Sionepoe (from Wallis), the outgoing Vicar Provincial of Oceania in charge of the 3 French-speaking regions, paid his final visit to New Caledonia around Easter.
While undertaking his duties he was also able to help in ministry and replace Fr Joselito, the parish priest of St. Louis (presently on the Colinian Renewal at La Neylière, France.)
Fr Tino met all the confrères and took part to various meetings, Regional Council, Regional Assembly at the Regional House in Noumea, and inter-communities 3-day gathering at St Louis.
On behalf of his confrères, Fr François, the Regional Superior, thanked Fr Tino and the Provincial Council for their interest in their Region which support the reconfiguration being put in place.
|Above: Fr Tino (second from left) with the Regional Council, on Apr 17|
|Above: Regional assembly group, Apr 19 at rue Baumier|