November

 

'The closest island to Paradise' 

Folllowing a recent visit to the Marists of New Caledonia, Fr Susitino Sionepoe reports on the meeting of the north and south communities of NC, on the picturesque Ile des Pins, Nov 11-13:

'The main purpose of the meeting was to review its mission statement and plan for its community life and ministry and the new year ahead.
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Known as Kunié to the Melanesians, Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines) is a tranquil paradise of turquoise bays, white-sand beaches and tropical vegetation. Ile des Pines is nicknamed 'l'île la plus proche du paradis'( 'the closest island to paradise'). 

'The inhabitants of the island are mainly native melanesians Kanakas and the population is about two thousand, mainly Catholics. 

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'Members of the parish council were so kind as they looked after us, supporting their parish priest, Fr Gidrol, during our stay. We are very grateful for their kindness and generosity. ' 

Below:   Community meal   |   Cross marking the arrival of missionaries in 1848. The first mass was celebrated in Ile des Pines in 15 August 1848.
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Below: Local snails, a special dish found only in Ile des Pins.  Very delicious!  |  A good catch   |   Fisherman, aged 12  
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Fire at St Louis'

Report from P François Grossin, New Caledonia...

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On November 14, 2017, at around 6:30 PM, Fr Josélito Molse sm, the referent priest of Saint Louis’s parish in the South of NC, was puzzled by the smell of a smoke coming from the ex-Boys School next to the presbytery.

He discovered that a fire has been set in the basement of  the building. With the help of a parishioner, he managed to contain the fire until the late arrival of the Firemen. One room has been destroyed as well as one part of its ceiling (actually the floor of an ex-classroom).

For the last few months the Saint Louis area has been out of control of the Public and Customary Authorities, which put the lives and properties of the population under threat. The last arson at the Parish happened in August 2013; it concerned the presbytery itself which suffered significant damages.

The “rascals” phenomenon plus the political uncertainty in view of the 2018 referendum on independence generate such criminal acts. For our confreres living there can be stressful!

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Renewal of Vows

Sunday 6th November was the day for the renewal of vows and the end of year celebrations at Marist College, Suva.  Mika Tuilau, Paulo Ravunakaidere, Maselino Kolio, Mika Misinale, Ratu Adrea Naleba, Joseph Tora and Humphrey Leoi renewed their vows in the Society of Mary for twelve more months. 

Fr Ben McKenna sm, Oceania Marist Provincial, received the vows.  The witnesses were Fr Soane 'Ahohako, the Superior of Marist College, and Fr Tony Kennedy, the Vice Superior, who both complete their terms at the end of this year.  Soane will be undertaking doctoral studies in Australia.  Tony will be the director of the Colinian Period of Renewal at La Neyliere near Lyon in France.

The new Superior of Marist College is Fr Milikiade Raiyalu.  Kiade is from Fiji and has worked in formation for many years.  Fr Sione Hamala from Tonga and the current bursar will be the Vice Superior and Fr Jacob Aba from the Solomon Islands will join the Formation Team.

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Above: The seven renewing Marist vows for a further year. 
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Above: Mika pronouncing his renewal of vows. 
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Above: Paulo and Maselino signing the vows renewal documents.
Below: The seven, with Fr Tony Kennedy.
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PRS Graduation

On Friday 4th November Bishop John Bosco Baremes sm from Port Vila in Vanuatu was the main celebrant for the Graduation Mass.  Many family and friends gathered to give thanks for the many blessings of the year.  Archbishop Peter Loy Chong from Suva (Chairman of the PRS Senate) was also present for the celebrations. 

Iosefo Amuri from Marist College received the Diploma in Theology along with his classmates in Year Three.   Our senior Marist students: Louis Melsul, Lutoviko Olie and Paulo Ravunakaidere received the Bachelor of Divinity.  Lutoviko graduated with Distinction.

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 Above: Bishop John Bosco Baremes sm with Iosefo Amuri   |  Deacon Lutoviko Olie sm (Tonga), Bishop Baremes, Deacon Louis Melsul sm (Vanuatu), Paulo Ravunakaidere sm.
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 Above:  Some of the graduation class in the PRS chapel.
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Above: PRS Year 7 graduation class with Bishop Baremes and Archbishop Long Choy.
Below: Celebrations!
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