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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Father of the Sisters of Melanesia and members of the Community with Sr. Sandra from the Community of the Sisters of Sacred Advent in Australia.
Photo No. : P060608-1
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Founding members the Community of Sisters of Melanesia from left, Nesta Tiboe, Mary Peo, Margaret Kavoa and Lily Tetehu.
Photo No. : P060608-2
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Religious Order celebrates silver jubilee
by Richard Toke
June 8, 2006

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] The Home grown religious order for women in the Church of Melanesia, the Community of the Sisters Melanesia (CSM) on Sunday 4th June, ‘Pentecost Sunday’ commemorate 25-years after their formation.

The Silver Jubilee celebrations took place at the Community’s Headquarter at Verana’aso, on West Guadalcanal where nearly a thousand Associates, relatives and Christians gathered to mark the occasion.

Father of the Sisters of Melanesia, Archbishop Sir Ellison Pogo celebrated and preached on the occasion. Congratulating the Religious Community on their achievements and challenging them to take risks as they venture into the future.

Those attending the Jubilee celebrations were fortunate to have in their midst the four founding members of the Religious Order still in high spirit and were able to talk about ‘God at Work’ in the formative years of the Community.

They are Nesta Tiboe, Lily Tetehu, Mary Peo and Margaret Kavoa.

The Religious Order as born on 16th November 1980, during the patronal festival of Saint Hilda at Bungana Island on Ngella when the four young women took their promises of Obedience, Celibacy and Poverty in the presence of the second Archbishop of Melanesia, Most Rev’d Norman K. Palmer.

Nesta Tiboe responded to a calling she had in a vision on the night of July 25th 1967 at the age of fifteen at her home village on Tau, North Guadalcanal about forming a Religious Order tailored for Melanesian women to be partners in the service of God in the Church. Thirteen years later, that vision comes to fruition after much consultation, praying, fasting and meditation within all sphere of the Church of Melanesia.

Today, twenty-five years on the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia has flourish to become the biggest women’s religious order in the Anglican Communion in terms of membership.

However the path ahead for the CSM was not smooth-sailing. They have to shift headquarters twice, from Bungana to Bokoniseu in the Guadalcanal Plains in 1983 and three years later on May 18th 1986, Solomon Islands worst natural disaster ‘Cyclone Namu’ ravaged the Community’s headquarter. The CSM then moved from Bokoniseu to the present site at Verana’aso.

The other three religious orders in the Church namely the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC), the Society of Saint Francis (SSF) and the Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH) has all along been supportive to the CSM since its formative years till now.

And this kind of support is a reflection of what the Archbishop, Most Rev’d Sir Ellison Pogo, KBE, always emphasized that the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia and our other three religious orders are the ‘Power-House’ of the Church of Melanesia.

The Community’s Headsister, Sr. Grace Delight thanked all who supported them in kind and prayer for making their Silver Jubilee celebrations a joyous, memorable and one worth celebrating.