|This page: Where we are | History | Leaving after 58 years | Community and ministry |
Sector Delegate: Fr Patolo Matiasi sm
Marist Community, Lepea
PO Box 751
Tel Mob: 685 7278196
WHERE WE ARE IN 2021
The first Marists arrived in Samoa in 1845. These were Frs. Louis Violette, Gilbert Roudaire and Br. Jacques Peloux, a skilled carpenter and stone mason.
Fr. Violette played a leading role in the development of the mission. Fr. Roudaire went on to do the same in New Caledonia. They established the first mission at Lealatale on Savai’i.
Missions soon spread around the main islands of Savai’i and Upolu. In 1870 Bishop Loius Elloy SM, who had been superior of the mission since 1859, was appointed the first vicar Apostolic of Samoa and Tokelau.
He was succeeded by Bishop Pierre Broyer, in 1896, who continued to supervise the steady development of local church. He also worked to calm tensions between the rival colonial powers of Britain, Germany and the United States. Soon he was also charged with overseeing the establishment of the mission in the North Solomons, where he engaged Samoan catechists in this new missionary work.
The Marists founded around 20 mission stations in Samoa and also established the mission in the remote Tokelau group.
In 1968 Fr. Pio Taofinu’u, SM was ordained the first Bishop of the newly established Diocese of Apia. He was the first indigenous bishop in Oceania. He was appointed Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1973. He oversaw the rapid development of an indigenous diocesan clergy.
The necrology of Oceania Marist Province shows that more that 90 Marist missionaries, now deceased, worked in the Samoa Region.
|Fifty eight years ago the then Bishop of Samoa invited the New Zealand Marists to establish and manage a school on behalf of the diocese of Apia. In the 1990s the Oceania Marists took over the management of the school until 2020. In 2019 the Archbishop of Apia, Alapati Mataeliga, requested that the Archdiocese was now ready to take over and manage Chanel on their own. This year, the outgoing Principal, Fr Sipiliano Faka’osi sm, and the Chanel Community of Frs Michel Tuvini, Iosefo Vili, and Viliami Kiola worked together with the interim governing board for a smooth transition to the new management. On Monday 21st of December, the Principal, on behalf of the Provincial, handed over Chanel College to the Vicar General of the Archdiocese during their closing Mass. Esto Fidelis.
|Fr Patolo Matiasi sm (PP, S)
|Fr Mikaele Tuimavave sm
|Fr Michel Tuvini sm
|Fr Iosefo Vili sm
|With the handing over of Chanel College to the Archdiocese the Chanel college community was effectively closed. That leaves only one community in Samoa, the Lepea Parish Community. Its ministry is the pastoral care of two parishes, the Lepea Parish and the Vaiusu Parish. Fr Patolo Matiasi sm is the Parish Priest and assisted by Fr Mikaele Tuimavave sm who is also the Director of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Samoa. Fr Michel Tuvini sm is completing his studies at the USP and assisting the parish work. Fr Iosefo Vili sm is teaching and doing chaplaincy work at the Marist Brothers School known as St Joseph College. He is also helping in the parish when required.