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News inserted on 29/09/2019

Meeting of the Third Order of Mary in Wallis and Futuna


FORMATION in SOFALA, WALLIS : 12 – 14 August 2019


SMSM SistersA team of Marists was named to facilitate several days of formation for the Third Order of Mary (TOM): Marist Father Suni Halapio (Tonga), in charge of the Third Order in Wallis and Futuna, Marist Brother Petelo Sekeme (Futuna), and smsm representatives: Sr Malia Nive Kepu (Tonga) and Sr Lutekate. For these sessions we wanted to take up the story of the whole Marist Family and its branches for the leaders of the Third Order.

On the first day, Monday 12 August, each of the four presented significant persons in the story of Marist beginnings: Jean Claude Courveille, Jean Claude Colin, Jeanne Marie Chavoin, Marie Françoise Perroton. In the time of silence that followed one could feel a real thirst in the assembly to know more of our origins.

That afternoon we stepped back into the period of the French revolution (1789-1799), a situation in which the effect of greed, power and prestige is seen. What we wanted to highlight was that conflict has no place in the life of a congregation, in the Church, nor in a charitable association. The path of the Lord is sown with challenges but it is for each one to find the way to go beyond these through faith, trust in God and a life of prayer.   The Third Order of Mary members were impressed to see how, in spite of what happened, families kept their faith in God during the revolution.

On the second day we presented the life of  Fr Colin, Founder of the Society of Mary (priests and brothers), Jeanne Marie Chavoin who began the Marist Sisters, Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers, St Peter Julian Eymard, a Marist priest who fostered the Third Order of Mary and who subsequently founded the Society of the Blessed Sacrament, Jean Claude Couveille who heard, interiorly, Mary’s desire to have a Society bearing her name, Bishop Bataillon of Central Oceania, St Peter Chanel martyred on Futuna...

The TOM admired the faith of Marie Françoise Perroton, her courage and willingness to come all the way from France to Wallis - the 11 months she spent on the boat, then the solitude she knew in Wallis... And, even more, they were happy to know that it was the king who welcomed her and gave his daughter, Amelia, to live with her as companion. They asked: How did she keep going? They reflected on the importance of silence in order to discern the will of God.

By the third day we were happy to have presented the overall view of our Marist Family. The Third Order members were very attentive to the presentations and the significant places in our story and theytold us that it was the first time for many to hear about the different Marist branches. They were touched by the lives and contributions of so many in the story.

In spite of his busy schedule, Bishop Susitino accepted to come and share with us on his motto: Through him, with him and in him. He pointed out how this time of formation is a blessing for each person, and encouraged the members of the Third Order of Mary to be peace makers in today’s world, respecting neighbour and in listening to one another.  The Bishop added that we need to trust in the Holy Spirit who is the One guiding the Church, enlightening us and leading us to God the Father, and to “imitate Mary in everything you do in your life”.  He then he celebrated Eucharist with us.

A beautiful conclusion to our days with the Third Order.


Sr Lutekate

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