Sr Analulu Tanuvasa SM
I often reflect on these words of Jesus (Jn 15:16) which are so appropriate in my own call as a Marist Sister. I was born in Samoa, of a Presbyterian family and became a Catholic while at a Catholic Primary School there. I was a bold teenager and not at all interested in religious things. When I told my family and friends I was thinking of becoming a sister they said, ‘It’s a joke. She won’t last a month.’ But ‘God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.’ God must have been smiling at all these comments.
Well, I have lasted not months but over 25 years of joy and challenges, teaching in New Zealand then serving in our mission in Gambia in North West Africa. My life during this time was greatly enriched by the poor people with whom I worked and the multicultural community in which I lived.
In 2003 I was missioned to join our community at Davao in the Philippines to work as part of the Marist Prison Chaplaincy team especially with women prisoners. This team helps the prison staff to form prisoners spiritually, intellectually and in self-esteem and also works for social justice in the prison. As well, the Marist Chavoin Club was formed to raise the awareness of religious vocation among young women and to share in our mission. I have felt greatly energised by working with this group because I love to share with others the richness of my life as a Marist Sister.
May God who calls us to serve continue to bless, inspire and strengthen us to be instruments of compassion, forgiveness and mercy, bringing new life to others. May many young people hear the voice of God and respond generously to this call to be priests and religious. Faafetai lava.