Photo Credit: Anglican Church of Melanesia
By Aldrin Peloko, The Anglican Church of Melanesia
Members of the Community of the Sisters of the Church, together with their associates, supporters, family members and friends witnessed the blessing of the new Sister Provincial for the Solomon Islands at Tetere Ni Kolivuti on Sunday.
The new Sister Provincial is Sister Kathleen Kapei from the Lord Howe Islands in the Malaita Outer Islands.
Mother Superior for the Community of the Sisters of the Church worldwide is Sr Linda Mary from Australia. She officiated at the blessing ceremony of Sr Kathleen in the presence of the General Secretary of the Church of Melanesia Dr Abraham Hauriasi; Vicar General to the Diocese of Central Melanesia Bishop Jonnie Kuper; and the Associates' leader Revd Brown Beu.
Also in attendance were the parents and family members of Sr Kathlee; other prominent members from the Provincial Headquarters of the church; and representatives of the other three religious orders and other ministries of the Church.
In an inspiring message, Sr Mary shared from 2 Timothy 3 and Luke’s Gospel 18:1-8. She highlighted the need for people to have hope and faith in God in everything they do so they will grow strong in the love of God. She also urged the members of the religious order not forget the foundations of the community.
Sr Kathleen's father Abraham Kapei said in his speech that his daughter overcome several challenges to get where she was today. According to the local culture, being the eldest in the family of six meant Kathleen could not attend further education, but had instead to stay back and care for her brothers and sisters.
In time, Kathleen became interested in, and in 1988 was accepted into, the Community of the Sisters of the Church. In 2002, Sr Kathleen made her life vow with the community. In 2004, she was elected as the second Sister Provincial and served for two terms, from 2004 to 2007 and 2008 to 2010.
Asked what would be her major plans for the community Sr Kathleen said she wanted to bring the community back to its original aims and objectives. She said she would work closely with churches, the Government and other organisations to reduce the rising social problems in the Solomon Islands' society.
Sr Kathleen urged the community to support her as she took up this leadership challenge.
Congratulating Sr Kathleen, the General Secretary of the Church of Melanesia Dr Abraham Hauriasi also thanked the Associates of the community for their support towards the mission and ministry of the the Community. He praised them for meeting needs the Provincial Headquarters of the Church could not take on. He added that the four religious orders were one of the significant strengths of the Church there.
Likewise, Vicar General of the Diocese of Central Melanesia, Bishop Jonnie Kuper urged Sr Kathleen to carry on the good work done by the outgoing Sister Provincial, Sr Phillis Sau.
The leader of the Associates to the Community, the Revd Brown Beu, who is also the Premier of Temotu Province, made a call to all members of the Church to support the Community adding that the Associates are important to the mission and ministry of the community.
The Revd Beu also assured Sr Kathleen that the associates would continue to work with her and the community.
The day’s celebration ended with feasting and entertainments put on by the Sisters of the Community and cultural performances by the relatives of the Sr Kathleen.
[Editor's note The Community of the Sisters of the Church is a religious order of women in various Anglican provinces who live the vowed life of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 2012 the Order had 105 sisters living in community, together with an extensive network of associates.]