Honiara (Fides Service) - New vocations in Solomon Islands are a great encouragement for the local Church. In a report sent to Fides Honiara archdiocese says that an increasing number of young men and women are choosing to give their life to God and to serve the local Church as Sisters or Brothers in one of the many religious Congregations present in the area. Proof of this trend were recent celebrations in the Dominican family for the religious profession of new members in the diocese of Gizo.
Local Catholics joined the Dominican community for the solemn profession of four new Sisters, Sr. Teresa Tebaia, Sr. Veronica Boki, Sr. Jacqueline Kubebatu, and Sr. Patricia Reo. Bishop Bernard O’Grady, Bishop of Gizo presided at the Eucharistic celebration, which was attended by family, friends and well-wishers. Sr. Rosemary Leuwnes OP, Prioress of the sisters from Australia was also present for the occasion. People from Moli and Wagina on Choiseul, Cannan on Kohigo Island, Western province and from Visale on Guadalcanal attended the prayerful celebrations, feasting and entertainment.
Another occasion for rejoicing for the Dominican Order in Gizo was the temporary religious profession for three years of Ignatius Talifilu and Charles Tani. While continuing their studies in theology the young men will help with pastoral work, mainly for children and young people.
Because of the flourishing vocations, already last year Holy Name of Mary Seminary in Tenaru, diocese of Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands, added new rooms to its premises to satisfy the growing number of applications. On that occasion Papal Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Archbishop Tito Yllana, encouraged seminarians to: “Be ready to discover, appreciate and love your vocation. Be ready to serve God for the rest of your life”.
The Church in Solomon Islands is giving special attention to the professional and religious formation of young people, opening structures, social and pastoral centres where young people can experience Christian values. A group of young people are preparing to take part in the celebration of 20th World Youth Day in Germany this Summer. The most recent preparatory meeting focused on the vocation of every young person to follow Jesus meeting Him in prayer and serving Him in others.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/2/2005 lines 27 words 270)