Honiara (Agenzia Fides) - Fr. Jan Hulshof sm, Superior General of the Marist Fathers and Brothers made a pastoral visit to Honiara bearing a message of hope for the local people and to find new paths for evangelisation in the Pacific. Fr. Jan Hulshof sm, was delighted to visit his confreres working in the Solomon Islands. He arrived in Honiara on the 16th and left on the 25th June, 2007. Jan was born in the Netherlands and was ordained in 1966. His rich experience of ministry includes parishes, provincial administration and secretary of the Dutch Bishops Conference in Utrecht, Holland. He expressed his happiness in seeing his confreres working close to the people and for the local church in education and pastoral ministry. His visit to St. Martins, Tenaru and Stuyvenberg Rural Training centres gave him an opportunity to discuss developments and challenges that the institutions face. He also visited the parishes of Kukum, Tanagai, Kirakira and Wainoni. The Sunday School Catechetical programme at Wainoni included a very lively liturgy, catechetical quiz and youth choir competition. “Building up multi-cultural communities of Fathers and Brothers is a powerful witness to Gospel values and of brotherhood. This goes beyond the differences of culture and language”, he told his confreres, 50% of which are Solomon Islanders. He is hopeful that justice, solidarity and respect for the dignity of every man, woman and child will enable Solomon Islanders overcome the tensions and difficulties they now face.
The Society of Mary (Marists) is a Roman Catholic religious congregation or order, founded by (later) Father Jean-Claude Colin and a group of other seminarians in France in 1816. Jean-Claude Courveille (1787-1866) had the original insight for the congregation but it was brought to fruition by Colin. The Society's members include two canonized saints, Saint Peter Chanel, S.M., martyred on the island of Futuna and Saint Marcellin Champagnat, S.M., founder of the Marist Brothers. The society's name derives from the Blessed Virgin Mary whom the members attempt to imitate in their spirituality and daily work. The post-nominal initials of the Society are S.M., which sometimes leads to confusion with another religious order of the same name (Society of Mary), but known as the Marianists.
The Marist Congregation, numbers over 3000 confreres working in several countries of the world. They were the first to carry the Gospel to Solomon Islands over 150 years ago. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/7/2007 righe 26 parole 269)