On Sunday 1st May Marist Sisters throughout the Congregation rejoiced at the news that a new novice had been received in New Zealand. Sr Lavenia Laweimoala from Fiji is now a member of the novitiate community in Auckland, NZ.
The theme of Lavenia’s reception ceremony was “I have called you by your name and you are mine“.The picture of Our Lady in Coutouvre on the front of the reception ceremony booklet was a reminder of our links with Mary, Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, Foundress of the Marist Sisters, and of our Marist origins. During the ceremony New Zealand Unit Leader, Sr Gemma Wilson, asked Lavenia what she was seeking. Lavenia responded by asking to be accepted into the Marist Sisters who, in turn, responded positively. After Lavinia had signed the Novices Register and the forms for Reception into the Marist Sisters, Gemma presented her with a copy of the Constitutions and General Statutes and a Marian Medal signifying her status now as a Novice of the Marist Sisters. The final hymn of joy and gratitude was the Magnificat!
The ceremony was followed by a celebratory afternoon tea. Lavenia is grateful for the many prayerful wishes she received from sisters throughout the Congregation as she begins the next phase of her Marist journey.
It is with a sense of relief and thanksgiving we are able to report that the Marist Sisters in Fiji are safe following the worst cyclone on record for Fiji. However, they have been through a harrowing time and now they are facing the long clean-up.
Worst affected are our Sisters in Nadelei, Mareta and Titilia, who have lost their home as the photos show. They have been sheltering in the school with the local people. All are affected by power shortages, making communication very difficult. In some places there are water shortages as well. There is a difficult time ahead for Fiji. The Sisters are most grateful for our prayerful support and ask that we continue praying for them and for the people of Fiji during the work of restoration.
There was great rejoicing when Marist Sisters in Fiji gathered in Nadi on 8th December to celebrate the birth of the Unit of Fiji. As the sisters gathered around Mary’s statue, they were very conscious of being one family with all Units of the Congregation.
During a time of prayerful reflection the Sisters untied knots in a chord to symbolize Mary’s action of untying the complexities of our lives and bringing us to Jesus. No celebration in Fiji is complete without a feast. Included in the feast was the cutting of a birthday cake to mark the birth of the Unit of Fiji.
Click on an image below to see the enlarged version.
On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the inaugural day of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Marist Sisters throughout the world are marking a historical moment when our Congregation is taking on a new shape as one WHOLE made up of 13 Units. The Marist Sisters’ General Chapter held in April 2015 invited us to be Women of the Word, embracing live and to affirm the values of diversity and flexibility. The Chapter did not decide on governance structures, but has opened the way for each current Sector to reflect on its situation and its needs. From this fresh starting point, each group is invited to shape its future governance model according to its own reality. The vital issue is the life of the Unit, the mission of the Unit, its desire to promote and enhance life.
Sr Grace Ellul, Congregational Leader, in her video address to the Congregation urged us to open wide our hearts, our minds, our very selves and embrace the Whole that we are as Congregation. Let us cultivate an awareness of the Whole, be in touch with the Whole, be interested in the Whole, pray with the Whole. Unit Leaders, I invite you to establish networks among yourselves and to keep your Units connected with others.
Two Marist Sisters and one Marist Missionary Sister are amongst the participants of programs at Marymount Mercy Centre, Castle Hill, NSW.
Sr Mariana Tevurega SM and Sr Petra Mario SMSM are close to completing the‘New Life’ renewal program, while Sr Titilia Tupou SM, in preparation for final vows, will graduate on Nov 29 from the program inspired by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Costing nothing less than everything’. Prior to completing the programs the sisters will be on retreat from 11th to 19th November. Our prayers are with them over these days.
The three sisters, all Fijian, join a succession of members of the Marist family who have enjoyed Marymount’s programs.
As we once again reflect on and celebrate the Paschal Mystery, the Marist Sisters send you prayerful wishes for a very happy and blessed Easter. May our celebrations renew our hope in God’s promise of fullness of life for all.
The Marist Sisters invite you to join with them in praying for their General Chapter which will take place in Nemi, Italy 8-29th April. A Chapter is a very significant event in the life of a Religious Congregation. It is significant that the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter is taking place during the Year of Consecrated Life.
Click here for a suggested prayer. During the Chapter news items will be regularly uploaded to the General Chapter website.
Each year on 2nd February we celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life. Pope Francis has also proclaimed 2015 to be the Year of Consecrated Life. During this year he challenges religious to “Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of living!
In 2015 this day has special significance for the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific. The new Regional Leadership Team begins their three year mandate. Sr Grace Ellul will take up the role of Regional Leader while Srs Vivienne Goldstein and Marian Tevurega will be her Regional Councillors. We ask God’s blessing on our new leadership team. We pray that with them we might more deeply “follow Jesus by living the Gospel as Mary did.”
In welcoming our new leadership team we also pray in gratitude for the leadership of Sr Julie Brand over the last six year and for her councillors, Srs Margaret Vaney (6 years) and Vivienne Goldstien(3 years).
On 14th January Marist Sisters in the Sector of Fiji gathered for a special event. In a simple ritual the retiring Sector Leader of Fiji, Sr Mariana Tevurega, passed the role of Sector Leader to Sr Lavinia Henry. Sr lavinia will take up her leadership mandate on 2nd February. In this role she will be assisted by Srs Teresia Raione and Salome Dilagi. The ritual was followed by refreshments and the opportunity to experience the joy of being Marist. More photos…
The Year of Consecrated Life which began on 30th November invites all who have consecrated their lives to God “to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope.” (From the Vatican, 21 November 2014, Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary). The latest Marist Sisters: Region of Asia-Pacific Newsletter gives an indication of how the Marist Sisters are living this challenge. Download a copy of the newsletter here.