Marist College at the Pacific Regional Seminary began the year with twenty seminarians.
Some had returned from novitiate, others from Marist Mission Experience and there were four men beginning Marist formation. One new staff member was from Italy: Fr Andrea Volininno sm. He is teaching philosophy at the Pacific Regional Seminary.
Orientation is always an important time as the new community settles in for the year. This is a time to get to know one another, to reflect on what has happened in the past, to clarify expectations for the coming year and to form some new goals. An interesting exercise was reflecting on the question: “Before I die I want to ….”
The Holy Week ceremonies are always a highlight.
The different colleges join together to ensure that the ceremonies are well celebrated.
The acting out of the Stations of the Cross draws a large crowd as we move around the campus at the Pacific Regional Seminary; the enthusiasm of the soldiers who were pushing Jesus around was very realistic. One small boy started to cry and asked them to leave Jesus alone.
In May the seminarians had their annual retreat. Fr Tony Kennedy sm went with the year one seminarians while Fr Sione Hamala sm went with the rest of the seminarians to the Ashram near Nadi.
Marist College celebrated the perpetual profession of Dennis Levi as a Marist in April. Soon after he and four other candidates were ordained as deacons by Archbishop Peter Loy Chong in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.
The senior seminarians are given the opportunity to practice their skills in preaching throughout the term. These homilies are videoed and then watched by the group of homilists. Tony Kennedy directs this group. There has been a lot of improvement in each of the preachers.
In September the tertiary institutions here in Fiji compete against one another in a variety of sports. Marist seminarians were key members of the PRS teams.
In the first term we renovated what was known as the deacons’ house. We are now in the midst of doing further work on the main student accommodation block. The roof has been replaced and the rest of the building will be renovated and refurbished over the summer holidays. We are grateful for the assistance given by the Marist Mission Centre which has made this work possible.
There has been a change to the structure of the formation program at PRS.
A propaedeutic term has been introduced. This is an introductory time that is designed to prepare the seminarians to begin their academic course the following year. Paul and George joined our Marist College community in August. They will hopefully progress to Year One in 2016.
During the year three seminarians have left Marist College. We wish them well for their continuing discernment.