OCEANIA/SOLOMON ISLANDS - A summer of missionary formation and youth ministry: the experience of two Marianist missionaries on the Solomon Islands

Friday, 31 July 2009

Auki (Agenzia Fides) – Every year, two Marianist missionaries from New York come to the Solomon Islands to spend two months offering evangelization formation and training and working with the youth. In this manner, the Churches and religious institutes located in wealthier and more developed parts of the world place their time and resources at the service of Catholics in more remote corners of the world.
The two Marianists, Br. David Bruner and Br. Timothy Driscoll (who has been to the Islands before), were invited by Bishop Christopher Cardone of Auki, and spent the months of June and July giving an intense formation program for catechists and teachers, as well as holding youth activities in the three dioceses of the Solomon Islands.
The general theme for this year’s presentations was the theme for youth chosen by Pope Benedict for 2009: “We have put our hope in the Living God.” The theme was later translated into a specific training for teachers and catechists who, like parents, have a special responsibility to pass on this faith to the next generation. There were encounters, day retreats, and courses organized for the youth, to live in the spirit of the WYD of Sydney, which has left a deep mark on the youth of Oceania.
The Gospel of Mathew was used to illustrate what it means for each of us to be both a disciple, one who is learning to live the life of Christ, and an apostle, one who is sent to bring the good news of Jesus to others.
For the community of Auki, the formation program is part of their 25th anniversary of the diocese. The local Church was extremely happy to host the two missionaries, thanking them for their contribution and enthusiasm.
The Church on the Solomon Islands has held this experience with foreign missionaries for various years now, offering special summer formation programs for personal renewal and education of the youth. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/7/2009)