|October 5, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 17 • Oakland, CA|
| Marist Sisters take on multitude
in varied fields
The Marist Missionary Sisters can trace their beginnings as a religious community to a woman, Marie Franciose Perroton and 10 other women who left their homeland in France from 1845 to 1860 and traveled to Wallis, an island in the South Pacific. The women were responding to an urgent plea for help by the Christians on the island who reportedly wrote "send us some devout women to teach the women."
As their numbers grew the women formed small communities in Wallis and Futuna in New Caledonia, and later in Samoa, according to the Sisters' website. In 1881 the Church recognized the group of women as a religious community and they were called the Sisters of the Third Order of Mary. In the 1860s the Sisters established a small community in Australia and over time they branched off and took their ministry of service to Fiji and Tonga and many other islands in the south Pacific. Eventually their ministry reached the United States, in the Boston area.
The Sisters moved to California in 2000, where they were drawn to minister in communities that host a diversity of cultures — many of which came from the south Pacific. Some of their ministry involves helping immigrants from Oceania — many of whom have trouble adjusting to life in a very different culture, said Sister Chao. Sometimes priests from various parishes call on the Sisters to help them minister with growing numbers of Asian and Oceania people who have settled in their parishes, said Sister Chao.
Today with more than 400-plus members, the Marist Missionary Sisters can be found in 30 countries.
back to top
|Copyright © 2015 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.|