As the Catholic Universal Church celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ) on Sunday June 18th, 2017, the St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School, Tenaru, rejoiced and thankful to finally bless their newly completed chapel dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Fatima.’
The main celebrant was Archbishop Emeritus Adrian Smith sm assisted by Fr. Lutoviko Manu sm, school chaplain.
This is also marked the celebration of the 100th years of the Apparition in Fatima in Portugal in 1917. The appearance of our Mother Mary to the three children of Fatima, Lucia, Jacinta and Francesco has been celebrated throughout the whole world this year.
The artist is Fred Oge who painted the wall mural is part Sepik PNG and Kwai Islands-Malaita. He was very thankful that his talent is being recognized and especially entrusted this part of the work to him.
The project is funded by the Wallace Family from Australia, a long time benefactor of the school. (Mr. Trevor and wife Margret, and their children, Bernadette, Francis and Ken).
Mr. Trevor expressed his gratitude to the school in his speech.
“On behalf of myself and wife, it is with great pleasure to have funded the building of “Our Lady of Fatima Chapel for the St. Joseph’s High School.
“For those of you who don’t know me my name is Trevor Wallace and I have been involved with the St. Josephs High School for many years, supporting young students in poverty by the way of sponsorships, funding of school’s computer lab and school chicken farm.
“You may ask how or why did this chapel get built? Every time I drove out to the school and I looked to the left I would see Our Lady of Fatima under a steel roof and I though no, Our Lady deserves more than a steel roof.
“She needs better. So I decided she should have a small chapel, where students and the community can come and pray to Mary, Our Mother of God.
“People say to me I will be blessed for building this chapel. I say to them no it’s the other way around. I have already been blessed. I have a beautiful wife and family. I have a good job and live in a lucky country. I have beautiful friends. I have a good life and importantly my wife and youngest daughter have both survived malignant cancer. So I have been blessed already. This chapel is my way of saying thank you to Mary.
“I would like to say a special thank you to Archbishop Emeritus Adrian Smith sm for coming along and blessing a new Lady of Fatima Chapel.
“Thanks to Mr. Fred Oge for painting of the beautiful wall mural and repainting of Our Lady of Fatima statue. Thanks to the Principal, Mr. Abraham Hihiru for allowing the chapel to be built here on the school ground and to all the other people who have supported my ideas to build this chapel.
“So please come here at Tenaru and pray to our Lady. Come and pray to Mary. As you all know Mary can help us in many ways but you must believe in her help and pray to her. I know in my family she has helped so much. She can and has created miracles.”
The students took the opportunity to thank Mr. Trevor and his family for such a great gift to the school and certainly will help with their spiritual life.
A shared lunch and entertainment followed and was enjoyed by all.
By Sr. Sesilia Sala FMA