Catholic Church Of The Solomon Islands
This site is an edited archived version of the original site.
When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you,
but merely opening your hands to receive something better.
Welcome and thank you for visiting the Catholic Communications Solomons website. Here you will find all the information you need about the Catholic Churches in the Solomon Islands.
We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your faith, hopes, dreams, struggles, failures and successes. May the risen Christ raise you above all that prevents you from living life in all its abundance.
There are just over 90,000 Catholics in Solomon Islands - just under a quarter of the total population. The country is divided into three dioceses: the Archdiocese of Honiara, the Diocese of Gizo and the Diocese of Auki.
An aside: When I had the opportunity to spend several years in the Solomon Islands doing research for a book on WWII, I was absolutely thrilled. The Solomon Islands is a nation of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific which has many WWII-era sites. However before I could pack my clothes, my computer, and grab my passport, I needed to find local Annapolis movers who could move all my household stuff into a storage unit. I lucked out having the VonParis Moving and Storage company recommended to me. As their name says, they not only move, but also have storage facilities. Once that problem was dealt with I was on my way. The Solomon Islands saw some of the Pacific war's lengthiest and most bitterly fought naval campaigns from 1942-1943. The fighting in the immediate vicinity of Guadalcanal experienced more than a dozen battles that were waged in their confined waters. I was going to see the actual sites while moving from island to island. I was amped, to say the least. Living on the islands was not always easy, but the rewards made all the frustrations worth it. My two years there made me step out of my comfort zone, but it also made me feel alive.
Bishop of Gizo: Bishop Luciano Capelli sdb
The Diocese of Gizo had made the decision in 1997 to take up the Project of Diocesan Renewal / Evangelization, initially in preparation for the Great Jubilee, but then saw the need to continue an on-going journey of faith. Based on a spirituality of relationships, but also including renewal of structures towards all-inclusive participation and co-responsibility, it is a process whereby the diocese puts itself in a permanent state of evangelizing everyone and everything.
Regular Community retreats, conducted by small teams of pastoral workers in the villages, have been a special feature of the pastoral action of evangelizing until now. Even people who are not Catholic have felt free to join it the faith sharing and personal and community prayer in the villages.
Over the next few years the diocese is planning to focus on the theme of solidarity. It means walking together side by side and it describes in one word: 'in a good way all the indebtedness we have to one another for life itself'. In hope and in a spirit of service the pastoral workers decided to continue creating the conditions for all to walk a journey of holiness so that as local church "the body builds itself up in love". Ephesians 4:16. Solidarity is obviously a value that can help all Solomon Islanders come to a deeper sense of their own national identity as a united people.
Part of its renewal is updating and constantly upgrading personnel - very important in our modern, IT world. Hence, in collaboration with the Sydney Catholic Education Office, the Diocese of Gizo has set up its 'Education Resource Centre'. The centre - in the process of completion - is to provide a clean, quiet and airy space for teachers and animators to attend Seminars and Workshops. Part of the plan yet to be realized - is also a well equipped computer room with LAN connections designed to allow the teachers and animators, become computer literate and have access to the internet and assorted other IT resources.
The Diocese of Gizo, thus joins the thousands of people in Solomon Islands, as it looks forward to growth and renewal. As it builds itself up, it definitely contributes to the building up the people and thus enhancing the Unity and Peace of Solomon Islands.
WHO ARE THEY?
The Salesians of Don Bosco are an international organisation of Catholic priests and brothers dedicated to the service of the young, especially the disadvantaged and marginalised. They work in collaboration with their partners in schools, youth centres, hostels, camps, parishes and other contexts to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the lives of the young. Their primary purpose is to evangelise by educating and educate by evangelising. Thus, they accompany the young on the journey of life so as to enable them to grow and mature as "good Christians and honest citizens".
The Salesian coat of arms (pictured above) summarizes their mission and devotions. Here is a guide:
The Doverepresents the Holy Spirit who is the source of the spiritual life that animates our Salesian mission. Mary Help of Christians, our Mother, whose direct intervention brought their Congregation into existence. Lilies signify our Consecrated Chastity that enables them to give themselves totally for the young. A Forest, through play on words, represents their founder, Don Bosco. "Bosco" mean forest in Italian. The Wellrepresents the Italian town, Mornese, birthplace of their foundress, St. Mary Mazzarello. The Anchorstands for the Hope that fills their spirit with courageous daring. The Staris the symbol of the Faith that impels them to serve the Lord in joyful fidelity. The Heartrepresents the Love Salesians have for the young people the serve. Rosessymbolize the Loving Kindness that imbues their family spirit.
Saint Don Bosco
Confessor, Father and Teacher of Youth
Born:August 16, 1815(1815-08-16), Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy
Died:January 31, 1888 (aged 72), Turin, Italy
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion
Beatified:June 2, 1929, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Canonized:April 1, 1934, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine:The Tomb of St John Bosco - Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy
Patronage: Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people
The Salesians were founded in the mid 1800s by St John Bosco, an Italian saint-educator. Don Bosco began his work for young street kids in one of Italy's rapidly industrialized cities. Over the years he developed an exceptional method of educating. This method was to become his way of being with young people. The spark of his charm and his presence ignited dream that has captured the inspiration of thousands of others. Under the invocation of Mary, Help of Christians, Don Bosco worked many miracles and laboured for the salvation of thousands of youth. He worked hard to spread this devotion, encouraging all to have confidence in Mary's intercession. "Have devotion to Mary, and you will see what miracles are," he often said.
Salesians of Don Bosco in the whole world number 16,234. They are present in all five continents of the globe in 129 countries. Their works can be grouped into Regions, Provinces and local Presences. There are 8 Regions containing 96 Provinces that together comprise a total of 2,040 works. They belong to the Salesian Family, which is a world-wide movement of people committed to the service of the young. They are faithful to Don Bosco's Preventive System of "reason, religion and loving-kindness" and strive to create environments characterised by a sense of welcome (home), a spirit of faith (parish), dynamic learning (school) and engaged social interaction (playground). The first Salesians arrived in Australia in 1922. The Salesian Family numbers approximately 402,500. It consists of 23 different organizations that have sprung up over the years that draw their inspiration from Don Bosco's style and charism. The first three that originated during Don Bosco's lifetime are The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (14,420), The Salesian Cooperators (about 25,000) and The Past Pupils of Don Bosco (about 97,357). There are 116 Salesian priests and brothers in this Province undertaking more than 60 different types of activities in 15 different centres.
In the Solomon Islands, the Salesians care for:
- Christ the King Parish, Tetere
- Catholic Communications Solomons
- Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson
- Don Bosco House of Prayer
- Don Bosco Rural Training Centre, Tetere
Don Bosco Technical School, Henderson
Don Bosco is a Secondary Technical School of the Catholic Church, Salesian community, and a full member of SIARTC. The Institute opened in 2000 and presently runs technical courses for boys and girls. It is located close to town but separate from it - a good flat site, within a few minutes of the Henderson Domestic Airport in Guadalcanal (just outside Honiara).
Don Bosco Technical School offers:
FOR FORM THREE PUSH OUTS it offers a two year complete Training Course in Auto Mechanics, Carpentry, Electricity and Home Economics.
FOR STANDARD SIX PUSH OUTS who are still young we offer a three year secondary academic-technical curriculum with a strong emphasis on basic technical skills. At the end of the three years basic Academic-technical course offered by the school, the students will have the option to continue in our Training Center Department for a two year professional course with more technology options than presently offered.
FOR STANDARD SIX PUSH OUTS who are older and willing to work immediately we offer an intensive three to six months Manpower Course in relevant technologies they can choose from.
What will the graduates do, will they find a job? We are confident they will, in fact, Self-confidence in one's destiny and faith, positive vision in life, credibility, honesty, competence and hard work, spirit of sacrifice and discipline is what any employer is looking for in a graduate. Properly skilled people are what foreign investors are looking for before investing or setting up companies requiring manpower. Export of man power can be one of the industries helping us to replenish our depleted foreign reserves. Self-employment and help is one of the possibilities too.
DON BOSCO Newsletter 2008
P.O Box 566, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Phone: 677 36555
Fax: 677 36333
WHO ARE THEY?
A family of Religious Sisters living the dream of St John Bosco and St Maria Mazzarello, working for the young and with the young.
A Religious Family that belongs to MaryThe Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is a religious family born of the great heart of Don Bosco and of the creative fidelity of St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello. The story begins with a twice repeated dream of Don Bosco. He dreamt he was crossing Piazza Vittorio in Torino, Italy. The Piazza was filled with noisy, screaming girls who appeared to have no one to look after them. A few were in a group apart and were not playing. These came over to the saint and said: " As you see, we have been neglected". Immediately a gracious lady appeared who encouraged him to work for these girls. As she diasppeared into their midst she repeated: "Care for them, they are my children".In 1864 with a band leading his group of boys, Don Bosco went to Mornese in the diocese of Acqui and was received royally. According to his custom when in Torino, each evening he gave a little talk to the people of Mornese before bidding them 'goodnight'. Among the group was one young woman who listened avidly to his words. This woman was Maria Domenica Mazzarello who was then 27 years of age. Was she a dreamer too? Some years before and not knowing at all the work Don Bosco had begun for boys in Torino, she had seen on an elevation at Borgo Alto in Mornese, a large building with spacious courtyards. Many girls were playing in these courtyards and she heard a voice say to her: "I entrust them to you". Years later this building and spacious grounds became a reality. The four-story building was constructed by the townsfolk of Mornese and became the first school and boarding facilities for girls adminstered by the Salesian Sisters. Unbeknown to each other, Don Bosco in Torino and Maria Mazzarello in Mornese were working for the good of young people particularly those most in need. They first met in 1864 and throughout the next eight years shared their educational ideals till finally in 1872 they founded the congregation of the Salesian Sisters, officially known as the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Both cherished a great devotion to Mary and therefore named the new congregation after her. From 1872 to 1881,year of the death of Maria Mazzarello,the first group of Salesian Sisters spread throughout Italy, France and to overseas missions in South America. Maria Mazzarello's passion for young people can be summed up in the words of her closest friend, Petronilla Mazzarello (no relation). Petronilla attests that Maria "attracted the young like an iron does to a magnet". It is this passion that has attracted many other women to journey with young people from one generation to the next. The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is a family of religious women born of St. John Bosco and St. Maria Mazzarello's love for God and young people. It follows the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales in three key aspects of his spirituality: An optimistic humanism The universal call to holiness for everyone A union with God based on gentleness and kindness in everyday life. Its story began in 1872 at Mornese (a village in northern Italy) where Maria Mazzarello worked in her parish for the good of the young. In 1864 Don Bosco met Maria Mazzarello and these two people realized that they were both working for the good of the young in their respective places - Don Bosco in Turin and Maria Mazzarello in Mornese. By 1872 the religious congregation of women was formed through its founders, Maria Mazzarello and Don Bosco. Over the past 130 years since its foundation the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians has spread to the five continents and now numbers around 15,000 members in over 90 countries. In the Church the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians brings God to young people through the field of education in a wide variety of activities: schools, camps, hostels, retreat work, youth clubs. Its educational philosophy is based on what the Salesians call the Preventive System - an educational approach based on:
- Loving kindness
THE SALESIAN SISTERS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC REGION
Their province is dedicated to Mary Help of Christians and is called the South Pacific Region comprising Australia, Samoa, American Samoa and the Solomon Islands. They have one house in Adelaide (their founding house in their province, founded in 1954), three houses in Melbourne and two houses in Sydney. There are two houses in Samoa, one house in American Samoa and one house in the Solomon Islands. They carry on a variety of activities for the welfare of young people: parish work, work with migrants, schools, hostels, youth centres, retreat work, child care centres,camps, etc.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SALESIANS
This was chosen by St. John Bosco because of the esteem he had for St. Frances de Sales, and his desire that his Sisters, Priests, and Brothers to imitate the kind and gentle ways of this saint.
St. Mary Mazzarello (1837-1881) worked with St. John Bosco (also known as Don Bosco) and found the Salesian Sisters in 1872. Today, our Order numbers more than 16,000 Sisters in 96 countries.
MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
This title for the Blessed Mother dates to 1571 and Pope Pius V. Don Bosco believed, "Our Lady wants us to honor Her under the title Mary, Help of Christians. Times are so bad that we need Our Lady to help us to be faithful and defend our faith."
The official initials represent their official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.
The Salesian Sisters is an international congregation, and is geographically divided into provinces. The South Pacific Region (SPR) Province currently have communities of Salesian Sisters living in Australia, Samoa, American Samoa, and the Solomon Islands.MISSION. The mission of the Salesian Sisters, Priests, and Brothers is to educate young people, especially the poor.
With the declining number of young women and men choosing religious life in the Catholic Church, they are fortunate that their Order is growing around the world.
Salesian Cooperators are lay people who work with to bring the Salesian Spirit to their families and work place. Volunteers of Don Bosco are lay woman with vows who carry out the Salesian Spirit in the same fashion.
An atmosphere of warmth and love permeates their Salesian convents, schools, youth centers, and camps. They are a welcoming, extended family.
DA MIHI ANIMAS CAETERA TOLLE!
The motto of their Congregation, which means: "Give me Souls...Take Away The Rest!" It was the battle cry of Don Bosco that he left as a legacy to them.
P.O Box R-35
Phone: Convent: +677-36-333