OCEANIA/SOLOMON ISLANDS - Dominicans mark 50 years of life and pastoral service

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Honiara (Agenzia Fides) - A Dominican Jubilee was celebrated in Solomon Islands with the motto “Praise, Bless, Preach”, to mark 50 years of presence of the Dominican community today consisting of 23 Sisters and 17 priests. Celebrations included a special mass in St Peter’s Cathedral in Gizo at which 1,200 people took part. The mass was presided by the diocesan Bishop, a Dominican, Bishop Bernard O’Grady, who encouraged present to live and spread the Gospel values, blessing and praising God: “We are the Church: we are the Body of Christ and we are witnesses to his message” he said.
The local community thanked the Dominicans for the service of education, caring for the poor and pastoral care of young people.
The first group of Dominican missionaries arrived in Solomons from Australia in 1956. One of them is still alive 81 year old Fr. Dominic Mahony. “Today I am happy to see the Dominican family rooted in Solomons. At the beginning it was difficult, we were real pioneers. It is good to see so many schools and institutions today run by the local church which continue to render present the Dominican charisma”.
“Little things lead to great things. We were a small group and today we are a large and significant presence. We want to be authentic Dominicans and authentic Church”, said Sr Rosemary Kinne, Dominican Sister 11 years in Solomons. To mark the jubilee Sr Kinne produced a booklet “ Praise, Bless and Preach” “This is a story of generosity, sacrifice, risk, new beginnings, celebrations, it is the story of God’s work in these 50 years”, Sr Kinne said. “It is a story of courage and determination which overcame many obstacles, meeting with a different language, culture and people. The purpose book - which contains stories, testimony, photographs - is to say thank you to all the Dominicans who contributed with zeal and unreservedly these 50 years of pastoral service”. (Agenzia Fides 18/7/2006 righe 26 parole 267)