Le nouveau noviciat de LOMERI (Fidji)

Brother Theophane


Le nouveau noviciat de LOMERI (Fidji) est en train de se construire, et déjà il abrite des novices qui n'auront plus désormais à aller en Australie ou Nouvelle-Zélande pour leur formation. Les territoires missionnaires de Nouvelle-Guinée, Samoa, Salomon et Fidji ont ainsi un nouveau centre, deux ou trois fois moins éloigné de chez eux que Sydney ou Auckland.


El nuevo noviciado de LOMERI (Fidji), todavía en construcción, alberga ya algunos novicios de las islas, los cuales no tendrán que acudir, de ahora en adelante, ni a Australia ni a Nueva Zelanda para formarse a la marista. Los territorios misioneros de Nueva Guinea, Samoa, Salomó y Fidji cuentan, pues, con un centro de formación distante de su tierra natal tres voces menos que Sydney o Auckland.


O noviciado de LOMERI (Fidji) está em construçâo, e abriga noviços que já nao precisam de ir à Australia ou à Nova-Zelândia par se formarem. Os territorios missio-nários da Nova-Guinéa, Samoa, Salomâo e Fidji têm dêste modo novo centro, daus ou très vezes mais próximo do que Sydney ou Auckland.


Marist Brothers' Novitiate,

Lomeri via Suva,


November 6th, 1971.


Dear Reverend Bother Assistant,

Thank you very much for your kind and welcome letters. In your typically thorough fashion, they arrived right on the Day itself — November 1st, and added significantly to the joy of the occasion. We had messages also from both Provinces and Brother Anselm came from Auckland to represent the Brother Provincials. I think you would appreciate an account of the day, so here it is:

During the two days prior to the 1st the Postulants were in with me at Vatuwaqa making a short retreat under the direction of Father Ross, S.M. whom you may have met either in Samoa or at the High School in Suva where he is chaplain. He is a man well experienced in native culture and his talks were splendid. During this time, which was a week-end, Brother Canute and three of the young Brothers from the Suva Communities were making preparations at Lomeri. After breakfast on Monday, 1st, we set off for home arriving about 9.30. At 10.30 we had a simple Ceremony of Reception according to the new rite, in the house, in the presence of Brother Anselm, representing the Provincials, Brother Eugene, the Area Superior and the Brothers of the Suva Communities. Brother Anselm addressed a few words to the young men and the Brothers. Then we all went along to the Parish Church where at 11.30 the Archbishop celebrated Mass for us and preached an excellent homily, most suitable for the occasion. Father Shivnan, the P. P. and Father Bourke were also present.

After Mass we went across to the hall for a buffet dinner prepared by Brother Canute and his helpers.

Wet season though it is, the weather was fine for us and every-things was able to be carried out under good conditions.

After the meal, all went across to the building site and spent the next hour or two inspecting the buildings, the grounds and the plantations. I think that all are happy with the progress made in the short lime we have been here but I would like to see the building work moving at a smarter pace.

By late afternoon the visitors had gone back to Suva and Brother Anselm stayed on with us for the next two days. The Novices enjoyed his company very much. We have Brothers staying with us quite often — it is something that I have tried to encourage, as I believe it helps the young men greatly.

On Thursday 4th we all went in again to Suva for the celebration of Brother Lambert's Golden Jubilee. The first happening was Mass for religious at Vatuwaqa at 5.30 pm, followed by a buffet meal, which the Novices helped to prepare. The Mass was impressive. The Archbishop concelebrated with six Priests and the chapel was filled to overflowing with Priests, Nuns and Brothers. There is a special new rite for such an occasion, as you probably know well, which includes a public renewal of vows and special and most appropriate prayers at several places during the Mass. The Archbishop gave an excellent homily and the Nuns led the singing throughout the Mass.

Yesterday, Friday, was the school's day. This began with an open air Mass out in front of the High School. Once again it was a splendid fine day. The Archbishop concelebrated with two Old Boy priests. The offertory procession was impressive, with the various racial groups bringing forward gifts typical of their culture.

After Mass there was a short break; then with the arrival of the Prime Minister, Rafu Mara, an Old Boy of Brother Lambert's the rest of the celebrations began… Speeches from the Head Prefect, Brother Placid, the Prime Minister, the Archbishop and Brother Lambert. There was a formal kava ceremony and each of the racial groups performed some cultural ceremony and made a presentation to the Jubilarían.

After this came the Magiti, or the Jubilee feast. This had been prepared by the boys of the school and some of the parents and was for everybody present — over five hundred, so it took some preparation! The prefects and the senior boys voted it a great success in that the boys couldn't eat all that they had prepared!

The day was indeed a huge success and Brother Lambert was and is in tremendous form.

We came home about mid afternoon and will be going back to Suva on Sunday for our own Marist Brothers' family reunion in honour of Brother Lambert on Sunday. This evening in Suva the Old Boys will be gathering to celebrate the Jubilee at a formal dinner.

I must close now, Brother. Thank you again for your letters and the message on behalf of the Superior General and the General Council.

The form for entry into the Novitiate is enclosed with this letter, Brother.

I am looking forward to your visit next May and hope you'll be able to see Lomeri under better conditions than the former atrocious ones. Be sure of a regular place in the prayers of all at Lomeri.

Yours sincerely in J.M.J.,

Brother Theophane


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