By Sr. Matalena Leota Su'atele, FMA
Malololelei, Samoa, 26 February 2016 - The Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is visiting Mary Help of Christians Province in the South Pacific Region that includes Australia, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands from February 23 until March 4, 2016.
On February 23, Mother Yvonne Reungoat was received at the Sydney airport by the Sisters who showed their joy for the presence of their Mother Yvonne among them. In the evening, there was the Eucharistic Celebration in the Sisters’ Chapel presided by the Salesian Director of Engadine, Fr. Peter Carroll, with the participation of FMA, SDB, and laity. Mother had a time of fraternal encounter and conviviality with one of the educating communities of Sydney, with the young, and some members of the Salesian Family.
On February 24, Mother arrived in Samoa, enthusiastically received at the airport by a representation of SDB and FMA, families, and students who gave her flowers as a sign of gratitude and welcome.
Mother visited the communities of Leauva’ A and di Malololelei. There was the cultural welcome of Leauva’ A and dialogue-listening with the students of the school. She also met with the Archbishop, Msgr. Alalapati Lui Mataeliga, for a dialogue-discussion on evangelization efforts in a Salesian style.
The day of February 26th was very special with the Celebration of the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Sovita Paulo and the inauguration of the new FMA house at Malololelei. The joy of a life given in fidelity to God at the service of the poorest and neediest young people was a graced event and sign of a rebirth of vocations in the land of Samoa.
In her message, Mother said: “Sovita is a daughter of your land, of your people. She knows the richness, the hopes, the expectations, and she also knows the limitations, the fatigue, and the journeys that are not always linear. She is a missionary among persons dear to her, among whom she grew up, from whom she learned to know and love God and Mary Help of Christians. Now she accepts the divine invitation to love you in a greater and more gratuitous way, with His very love, to make herself mercy so that you may all meet the Father’s mercy. In fact, she is perpetually professed in the Year of Mercy!”
The blessing of the new FMA house of Malololelei after thirty years of presence on the Island, with the opening of the door is a sign of mercy. Those who enter have the possibility of meeting the Father’s mercy in various ways. And those who go out, because they have learned to live mercy and are grateful for receiving it will be witnesses and mediators in society.
In expressing her thanks to the ecclesial community, which, by receiving us and offering us the necessary structure, consented to plant our works and make them grow and flower in the charism, she stressed that, “Putting up a house means foreseeing a stable permanence; putting down roots in a place; creating bonds of belonging. This house is not only of the FMA, but of all the people of this part of Samoa. A Salesian house is a house where the family spirit is breathed. Don Bosco could not think of education without giving the young a house. Today, we inaugurate a new house. The walls have been completed. But the construction of the house continues each day with the contribution of the people who live in it, who create a climate where life is always newly regenerated and grows continually; a community of consecrated FMA who share life and mission”.
Until March 4th, 2016, Mother Yvonne will continue her pilgrimage in the communities of the Solomon Islands where she will meet with FMA, babies, children, young people, parents, and members of the Salesian Family.