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Malia Selina Lutovio

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 22/04/2010

Selafina Piliopo Tovia (Tuiavii Lamositele) was born on the 12 May 1917 at Leagiagi, Samusu Aleipata. She attended the Sisters’ school at Vaisuli Saleaumu Aleipata, where she also spent a good part of her young life. As a young woman she played the role of the family chief’s village maiden or ‘taupou’.

Selafina entered the SMSM Novitiate at Moamoa and received the name Sister Malia Selina. She made first profession as a Misionary Sister of the Society of Mary on 2 August 1940. She then began a life ministry of serving as cook, teacher, local superior etc, etc, giving generous service in many communities - Falealupo, Leauvaa, Safata, Lotofaga, Falefa, Moamoa, Savalalo and Leone and Lepua in American Samoa. A long list and she was always willing and even went two or three times to some of these places.

She also went beyond Samoa. In the mid 1950’s she went to Wahroonga, Sydney and also to Melbourne where she did part time studies and helped in the Altar Bread department. She went to New Zealand for two renewals. The first was in March 1977 at Greenmeadows. In 1992 she participated in a program called “Age and Grace” at Marcellin Hall, Auckland. In the mid 1980’s she was missioned to Niuatoputapu, Tonga.

Early in February this year we noticed her getting weaker, so we decided to anticipate her 70th year of religious profession and so celebrated this anniversary at the end of March rather than wait until 2 August. When I mentioned this celebration to her, she laughed and said – “ua matua si tamaiti”. (The lady is old!) We did have a beautiful celebration of the Eucharist in our small chapel at Maota Marista Rest Home. Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga celebrated the Mass with us. She was looking tired but she managed to read her renewal of vows – still without glasses! She had a few guests and there was a lovely meal provided by her family. Unfortunately, Sister Selina was too tired after Mass to join the celebration and she was wheeled to her bedroom from chapel, but she still managed to give a tired gentle smile as she said “faafetai”.

She was a very independent person. She was much loved by the sisters and her family. She was gentle and had a lovely smile. Before her recent fall she spent most of her time in her bedroom resting, praying the rosary, reading or crocheting. She liked reading. She loved animals especially dogs. Her love for animals was a big thing in her life.

In her bedroom she had two large pictures one of the Sacred Heart and one of the Immaculate Heart of Mary facing her bed. Two days before she died I asked her what Jesus and Mary told her. She said they told her to wait just for a little while and that soon they would come for her. And this I believe they did!

I thank the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for allowing Sr Malia Selina to have such a simple and child-like relationship and trust with and in them.

She died peacefully at 3.30pm at Maota Marista, Vailoa, Tulaele, on Thursday, 22 April 2010. A Family service and Mass were held at Sefo’s Funeral Parlour was on 23 April at 7.30pm. Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Anthony’s Church, Moamoa at 10.30am on 24 April 2010 followed by burial in the Moamoa Cemetery.

Sr Malia Selina, may you rest in peace and joy and smiles of your God.
May Mary and Joseph bring you safely home to Jesus your Lord and God.

Sr M. Emanuela Betham SMSM
Samoa Sector coordinator