According to TITLE E CANON 10 of the 2011 ACoM Manual pages 94 - 95; A Religious Community is a society of Christians in communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion, who voluntarily commit themselves for life or for a term of years to holding their possessions in common or in trust, to a celibate life in community and obedience to their Rule and Constitution.
Within the Anglican Church of Melanesia a Body known as "The Life Advisory Council" that keep an eye on the day to day function of the communities.
The membership of the Religious Life Advisory Council shall be as follows:
1. The Archbishop of Melanesia as Chairperson;
2. The Mission Secretary of the Melanesian Board of Mission as Deputy Chair;
3. The most senior Brother or Sister, living in Solomon Islands or Vanuatu, of the four Religious Communities represented in the Anglican Church of Melanesia at the time of the establishment of this Council, namely the Melanesian Brotherhood, the Society of St. Francis, the Community of the Sisters of the Church and the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia;
4. One other Brother or Sister (who shall have made a full commitment to his or her Religious Community) elected by each of the Religious Communities;
5. Two persons who are not members of Religious Communities who shall be chosen by the Archbishop;
6. The most senior Brother or Sister, plus one other Brother or Sister (who shall have made a full commitment to his or her Religious Community) of any new Religious Community which may hereafter be given the status of a Religious Community within the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
7. The Council shall elect one of its members to be the Secretary of the Council.
The duties and responsibilities of the Religious Life Advisory Council shall be as follows:-
1. To provide a forum where the Religious Communities can meet to discuss any matters of mutual concern;
2. To advise the Anglican Church of Melanesia on all matters pertaining to Religious Communities, and especially to advise on matters concerning the establishment and recognition of new Religious Communities wishing to establish themselves in the Anglican Church of Melanesia;
3. To elect members of Religious Communities to various Committees, Boards and Councils of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, when this is required under the Canons of this Church;
4. To organize any occasion within the Anglican Church of Melanesia which requires the joint co-operation of the Religious Communities (e.g. Religious Life Sunday).
5. To advise the Archbishop of Melanesia on the pastoral care of any Brother or Sister who may be living under the promises of the Religious Life but who may not be members of any Religious Community.
1. The Council shall meet annually, but may meet at any other time should the need to do so arise.
2. Meetings may be called by the Archbishop or, in his absence and after consultation with the Archbishop, by the Deputy Chair), or by any two persons representing at least two Religious Communities.
3. The Council may make reports to the General Synod or the Provincial Council, but it is not required to do so.
To be officially recognized, a Religious Community must have at least four (4) professed and/or full members within the Province and must be approved by the Council of Bishops on the advice of the Religious Life Advisory Council PROVIDED HOWEVER that if any particular Religious Community which is already established at the time of the enactment of this Canon later ceases to have four professed and/or full members within the Province, no action shall be taken to withdraw recognition of that Religious Community, unless the Council of Bishops, acting on the advice of the Religious Life Advisory Council, so agrees.
Each Community shall have a Bishop Visitor, Father or Protector who need not necessarily be the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Community is established. If, however, the Bishop Visitor, Father or Protector is not the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Chief House of the Community is situated, he shall not accept election without the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese. He shall be the guardian of the Constitution of the Community and shall serve as a peacemaker and one who settles arguments in matters which the Community or its members cannot agree.
Any person under vows in a Religious Community, having exhausted the normal processes of the Community, may petition the Bishop Visitor or Protector for dispensation from those vows. In the event the petitioner is not satisfied with the ruling of the Bishop Visitor or Protector on such petition, he may file a petition with the Archbishop who shall ask the Religious Life Advisory Council to review the petition and decide thereon and make recommendations to the Archbishop who shall have the highest dispensing power for Religious Communities and his ruling on the petition shall be final.
A Religious Community may establish a centre or house in a Diocese only with the permission of the Bishop of the Diocese. The Constitution of every Religious Community shall make provision for the lawful ownership and administration of the worldly possessions of the Community and in the event of dissolution of the Community, or should it otherwise cease to exist, to provide for the disposal of all its belongings according to the laws governing charitable institutions within the boundaries of the Church of the Province of Melanesia. As from the date of the enactment of this Canon, any Community wishing to establish itself within the Anglican Church of Melanesia shall submit its Constitution to the Religious Life Advisory Council for perusal, pursuant to the requirement in paragraph 5 above.
It is recognized that a Religious Community is not a Parish, Mission, Congregation or other Institution of the Diocese within which it is established.
THE Community of the Sisters of Melanesia (CSM) was formed in November 1980 by Nester Tiboe and three other young women of Melanesia. The Community was formed as Nester realizes the need for young women to also go out and spread the Good News about Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The mission began on the 17th of November 1980, when the second Archbishop of Melanesia the Most Rev’d Norman Kitchener Palmer Commissioned four women who made their promises of poverty, Celibacy and Obedience to serve in the community.
The aim of the community is to offer young women in Melanesia an opportunity of training and mission, so that they may serve Christ in the church and society where they live. Not only that, but to provide pastoral care for women and teenage children and uphold the Christian principles of family life.
With the expansion of the community, they now have house holds in the Diocese of Malaita (Joe Wate houseHold, Waihi Parish); Diocese of Guadalcanal (Marau Missionary Household; NAT Household) and (Sir Ellison Pogo household) in the Diocese of Central Melanesia.
Veranaso, located some kilometers west of Honiara is the Head Quarter often called the training ground for the community.
The supporters of the community are called the Associates.
The Most Reverend David Vunagi, Archbishop of Melanesia is currently the Bishop Visitor of the community.
Sister Collin Wobur from Vanuatu is currently the Head Sister of the community.
Head Sister – Sr. Collin Wobur
Phone: (677) 24035
Sir Ellison Household, Honiara
There are three different paths, or 'Orders' within the Society, paths which were founded by Francis himself in the thirteenth century, although our particular expression of the Franciscan life within the Anglican Communion goes back only to the early twentieth century.
The First Order consists of brothers (Society of St Francis - SSF) and sisters (Community of St Francis - CSF) who make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, live together in community, pray together, and undertake active work of many kinds. There are SSF brothers in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, South Korea, the UK, and the USA; and CSF sisters in the UK, the USA, and South Korea.
The Second Order (Community of St Clare - OSC) consists of sisters who make the same vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and live together in community, but whose work is focussed on prayer and contemplation, and on work within the convent. OSC sisters live in Oxfordshire, England.
The Third Order consists of women and men who commit themselves to live out their Franciscan vocation in the world. Their profession vow is fleshed out in an individual Rule of Life, to which they make an annual commitment. They live in their own homes, may be married or single, and continue to support themselves financially, while meeting regularly for mutual support in local groups.
In the Province of Melanesia, Society of Saint Francis (SSF) was established in year 1970 by: Br. Daniel, Br. Michael Davis, Br. Allan Banabas, Br. Kabay and Br. Gerard. Saint Agnes rest house was first used as their headquarter.
Today, the society has reached out to other dioceses within the Province.
The Brothers share common life of prayer, fraternity and a commitment to issues of justice, peace and the accommodation for short-term guest. They also engaged in a variety of ministries, chaplaincies caring, counseling.
Becoming a Brother in the society; one has to undergo three (3) years as Novice and another three (3) years in simple profession. After that, one can apply for life vow that has to be approved by a chapter.
Rt. Rev. Alfred Karibongi is currently the Bishop Protector of the Society.
The training house of the society is in Hautabu; often called La Verna Friary/Little Portion situated West of Guadalcanal.
Should you wish to know more about or suport the society, do contact:
Br. Clifton Henry - Provincial Minister
Br. Martin and Br. Lent– Assistant
Br. Hilton Togara– SSF Secretary
P O Box 519
Telephone (677) 22386
Tel & Fax: (677) 25810
Information provided by: SSF OFFICE, Patteson House, Honiara
The Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC) Worldwide was founded by Emily Ayckbowm in 1870. The community consists of lay and ordained women within the Anglican Communion.
Later in around 1900s, the Province of Melanesia sees it fit for the community to be established in the Province. In 1969 on the Christmas Eve three (3) Sisters namely; Sr. Berol (England), Sr. Helen (Canada) and Sr. Frances (Australia) arrived by ship following invitation from the first Archbishop of Melanesia. The work of the community began in 1970 in Melanesia which was later established a province of its own in 2001.
The members of the community are to be faithful to the gospel values of Poverty Life in their mission and ministry.
The community’s patron is St Michael and the Angels held on the 29th of September.
The Eucharist and Divine Office (usually fourfold) are the heart of the Community life.
The community currently has households in: the Diocese of Ysabel (DOY), Diocese of Hanuato’o (DOH), Diocese of Malaita (DOM), Diocese of Temotu (DOT) and in the Diocese of Central Melanesia and the Diocese of Guadalcanal.
The Bishop Visitor of the community is the Senior Bishop of the Church, the Rt. Rev. Nathan Tome – Bishop of Guadalcanal.
More about the community do contact:
Sr. Kathleen Kapei - Provincial Sister
Sr. Emily Mary Ikai – Assistant Provincial
P O Box 510
Phone: (677) 22413/ 27582
Information provided by: Sr. Phyllis Sau
THE Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH) was formed by Ini Kopuria, a Policeman from Maravovo village, Guadalcanal in 1925. The order was formed purposely to evangelize people who had not heard the message of Christ in the most remote islands and villages throughout Solomon Islands. By doing so, the Brothers went out in pairs and live as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions or everyday life.
Today, the work of the Brotherhood has reached out to other countries beyond Solomon Islands. The Melanesian Brotherhood has three regions in the Pacific:
Melanesian Brotherhood became well known around the World during their struggle for peace in the year 1998 – 2003 during the ethnic tension.
The Brothers take the vows of Poverty, Chastity and obedience for three years that can be renewed. They train for four years as Novices and normally make their vows to become Brothers at the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.
The Head Quarter of the MBH is in Tabalia, west of Honiara.
NEWLY ELECTED LEADERS AS OF 2015 GREAT CONFERENCE
SOLOMON ISLANDS REGION
Regional Father – Archbishop of Melanesia
BR. DEVIS CYPRIAN FROM PNG (Head Brother)
BR. JESSIE ARAIASI FROM SI, MALAITA (Assistant Head Brother)
Mr. ALPHONSE GARIMAE (Brotherhood Secretary)
BR. ALBERT IROGA FROM SI, MALAITA ( Regional Head Brother SI region)
The Mother House of the Melanesia Brotherhood
P O Box 1479
Honiara – SI
Tel: +677 26355
Fax: +677 23079
PAPUA NEW GUINEA REGION
Dobuduru Regional Headquarters
P O Box 29
Papua New Guinea
THE ARCHBISHOP OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Regional Father)
BR. MARTIN OGOBA (Regional Head Brother)
Tumsisiro Regional Headquarters
P O Box 05
THE RT. REVD JAMES LIGO, Bishop of the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Regional Father)
BR. CHILLION MONGAGI (Regional Head Brother)
Information provided by: Mr. ALPHONSE GARIMAE (Brotherhood Secretary)