Fiji schools benefit from Australia Needs Fatima outreach
Our Fatima programme in Fiji runs in tandem with our Papua New Guinea programme. Together, both programmes are the two sides of our Pacific Islands apostolate. And like PNG, our work in Fiji has been growing apace.
Australia Needs Fatima representative Mr Jacques Geliot travelled from Australia to Fiji on 11 November in order to follow up on his 2010 visit there. This time the goal was a large distribution of Rosary Kits to students in Fijian schools. This mission was possible thanks to the generous support of our ANF donors.
Mr Geliot took with him ten thousand rosaries for the kits that would be distributed. Each kit also included a handsome illustrated flyer explaining how to pray the Rosary, with all the prayers. These flyers were printed in Fiji in advance, which both reduced the overall expense of the project and benefited the local economy.
Jacques Geliot’s team comprised: Mr Joseph Ah Sing from St Peter Chanel Parish, Nasalia Kadavu, Ms Teresia Lalamacuata and Mr Beni Waqaniyalo, a retired school teacher. Overall coordination was in the able hands of Mrs Rafaela Aditamana Waqaniyalo, who had been assigned this responsibility by His Grace, Archbishop Petero Mataca of Suva.
The rosaries and flyers were blessed by Rev Fr Etuweni Rasiosateki, National Chaplain of World Apostolate of Fatima Movement (Fiji) on 17 November. And on the very next day presentations in the schools began.
Altogether, 27 schools and institutions were visited within eight days and nearly 10,000 rosary kits were distributed. Both teachers and students were highly appreciative and welcomed Mr Geliot enthusiastically. Due to the scarcity of everything needed to make rosaries in Fiji they are hard to come by. Consequently our rosaries are cherished by the young people who received them.
Teachers in the schools have noticed the increased devotion to the Rosary following the visits. Not only are more Catholics saying it, but Protestants too. Indeed, some of the most enthusiastic schools were non-Catholic. The organisers tell us that the children are going home with their kits and asking their parents to pray the Rosary too. “Children are very good instruments to reach out to others, especially their parents and friends. It has been a big encouragement to our team to see the good response,” said programme coordinator Mrs Rafaela Aditamana Waqaniyalo.