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News inserted on 26/03/2011

Footprints of faith in Ovalau, Fiji

SMSM SistersIn early January 2011, our final vow preparation group went on pilgrimage to visit the graveyard where five of our Sisters are buried in Tokou village, (Loreto), Ovalau. We took with us some flowers, hymn books and our constitutions. We were all overjoyed and felt privileged to visit our sisters that day.

Each of us presented a brief prayerful presentation of the history of one of the sisters buried there. Our sincere thanks to Sr Emeretiana for preparing the resource booklets on the life of these five sisters as well the clear photos which Sr Margaret Ryan prepared.SMSM Sisters

We were welcomed by the people of Tokou with open hearts. Even though we saw only the old dilapidated graves, we felt our sisters’ unseen presence. This has also been reflected in the faces of the people of Tokou whom they served and lived with. There were tears of thankfulness as we heard the courageous stories of faith of these five women. We sang with hope because we were touched by their faithfulness and perseverance. We asked them to pray for each of us, as we prepare to entrust our whole lives with the same missionary commitment.SMSM Sisters There is no doubt that Srs Marie St Clair Mainguy (1861-1887), Marie Jerome Charvoz (1865-1895), Marie Georges Massing (1863-1913), Marie Augustin Thabard (1856-1928) and Marie Michel Paignier (1874-1952) were very grateful for our visit. We walked in their footsteps and recalled their faith, as seen in the community of Tokou, Ovalau.

Our pilgrimage continued on to visit significant places e.g. the grave of Bishop Julien Vidal (1846-1922) and other places which are so important to us as Marists and to the church of Fiji.

Sr Palepa Aukusitino smsm

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