2019 New Year Gathering

Eldercare Workshop

Front row: Sisters Aqela, Helen, Emanita, Margaret,Julienne Marie, Marie Claire. Seated: Sisters Pelenatita, Athanasie, Georgeanne Marie, Suliana, Jennifer, Kathleen, 3rd row: Judith,Danielle, Maria Goretti, Lasela, Ana, Helene, Telesia, Agnes, Cristina, Marisa. Back row: Joan Marie, Aloisia, Maria Koleti, Jacinta, ,Lutekate, Monika, Mary Jane, Colleen, Athanasie, Joyce Ann.

Front row: Sisters Aqela, Helen, Emanita, Margaret,Julienne Marie, Marie Claire. Seated: Sisters Pelenatita, Athanasie, Georgeanne Marie, Suliana, Jennifer, Kathleen, 3rd row: Judith,Danielle, Maria Goretti, Lasela, Ana, Helene, Telesia, Agnes, Cristina, Marisa. Back row: Joan Marie, Aloisia, Maria Koleti, Jacinta, ,Lutekate, Monika, Mary Jane, Colleen, Athanasie, Joyce Ann.

Here at our central house in Waltham, Massachusetts, January has been a month of hospitality - greeting our Sisters from near and far, as well as friends and family members. Sr Georgeanne Marie, our congregational leader and her Council arrived from Rome in late December to welcome Regional Leaders from Asia-Pacific, Africa-Europe, Oceania and the Americas, as well as Sisters who are directly concerned with care of our elderly Sisters.

Thirty-four Sisters had been called together to take part in this "Eldercare Workshop" to see how we can best address the needs of our senior Sisters in different parts of the world. The workshop was held from December 28th to January 10th and included presentations on the philosophy of aging, gerontology, pastoral care, the spirituality of aging, community life, and self-care for caregivers. There was a great depth of sharing of personal experiences and different situations in different countries.


Sister Mele Senitila Latu makes her Perpetual Vows

On Saturday, January 5th, Sister Mele Senitila Latu, smsm, made her perpetual vows at the Mass for the Vigil of the Epiphany at Sacred Heart parish in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Sister Senitila is originally from the island nation of Tonga in the South Pacific. She entered the novitiate of the Marist Missionary Sisters in New Zealand, and made her first vows there 6 years ago. She was missioned to Madagascar and served there for four years at a Center for the Advancement of Women. She came to the USA in 2017 for Ongoing Formation and Studies.

This joyful celebration brought together all the SMSM Sisters in the area, the parishioners of Sacred Heart, and others who knew Sister from her volunteer work at Maristhill Nursing Home and at the St Mary's After-School Program. In addition quite a few relatives arrived from as far away as New Zealand, California, Florida and Texas, bringing a wonderful Tongan flavor to a cold and rainy night in Massachusetts. There was a joyful celebration after the Mass with food, song and dance from the different cultural groups present.

Before the Mass: Father Dennis Wheatley OFM, pastor, with Sister Senitila and Viliame and his daughter Tatila, who came from New Zealand.

Before the Mass: Father Dennis Wheatley OFM, pastor, with Sister Senitila and Viliame and his daughter Tatila, who came from New Zealand.

During the Mass, Sr Georgeanne Marie Donovan, congregational leader (right) listens as Sr Senitila recites her vows to live forever her consecration to God in poverty, chastity and obedience, according to the Constitutions of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.

During the Mass, Sr Georgeanne Marie Donovan, congregational leader (right) listens as Sr Senitila recites her vows to live forever her consecration to God in poverty, chastity and obedience, according to the Constitutions of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.

Sister Senitila (center) with family members and some of the Sisters who gathered in the parish hall for the celebration after the Mass.

Sister Senitila (center) with family members and some of the Sisters who gathered in the parish hall for the celebration after the Mass.