Fr Frank Hoare SSC

A Killer Cyclone

by Fr Frank Hoare

A wrecked house in Natanuku

Columban Fr Frank Hoare, based in Fiji, first went there in 1973. He is from Ireland.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston

In mid-February this year Tropical Cyclone Winston passed fairly close to Fiji on an eastward path towards Tonga. It missed the large islands but did damage to some of the smaller Lau islands. It damaged one of the big islands in the Tonga group and then made a sharp U turn picking up force from the heat of the ocean below as it reversed its path towards Fiji. The government issued warnings to everyone to prepare for the cyclone by nailing wooden shields over windows, by tying down roofs with wire, by storing up food and water and candles and by buying batteries for radios and flashlights. Evacuation centers in schools and halls were prepared.

'Sinful' Christmas

By Fr Frank Hoare

Greeted with hospitality and sweet tea, a Columban priest and his companion tell the story of Christmas to non-Christians in Fiji. This article won a ‘Highly Commended’ award for The Far East, the magazine of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand where it first appeared in the November-December 2008 issue, from the Australasian Catholic Press Conference in Sydney in September. 

‘You have walked all this way to enlighten us about the meaning of Christmas. You are a holy man; you are a saint; you are an incarnation of God’, a middle-aged Fiji-Indian man named Ram Samuj enthused after I had shared with him the story of Christmas. I remembered how Paul and Barnabas had torn their garments in horror when, after healing a cripple, the people of Lystra attempted to sacrifice oxen to them (Acts 14:14). My protestations of mere humanity to Ram Samuj were less dramatic, but he accepted them. No sacrifice was performed.

Ministry Among The Subanen

By Father Frank Hoare SSC

The author, from Ireland, is on the General Council of the Society of St Columban. He worked for many years in Fiji.

Subanen Women

When Columban Father Brendan Kelly, from Northern Ireland, arrived at Katipunan, a mountain village in Misamis Occidental, nine years ago, he was shocked by the lack of education and medical services. The Subanen people, the original but displaced owners of the land, lived in extreme poverty. As a missionary he wanted to help. But aware of the big development plans of well-financed NGOs in the area, he wondered at first if he had any role to play. He decided then to take a people-centered approach.

Clash of Culture

Vincent Ratnam, an Indian from Fiji tells about his journey to being a missionary priest. Part of his time involved a stay in the Philippines. The interview was conducted by Fr. Francisco Hoare.

An Interview with Vincent Ratman

Francisco: Where and when were you born?

Vincent: I was born on 31st March, 1966 in Lautoka Fiji islands. I have five brothers and two sisters. As the youngest in the family my parents, especially my dad, had emphasized hard work and being well off because we had experienced poverty. Dad work for an Australian company as a stone crusher operator and Mum used to supplement the family income by doing house work for neighbors.

From Fiji to Philippines

By Fr. Francisco Hoare, SSC

Sr. Pushpa is a 30 year old Missionary Sister of the Society of Mary. She is the first Indian Sister from Naleba, Labasa. Her father, Arjun, presented Pushpa, her three brothers and younger sister Shakuntula to Fr. McCaffey for instruction and baptism when Pushpa was about 7 years old. She joined the SMSM order in 1985. She has been appointed to work as a missionary in the Philippines. Fr. Frank Hoare interviews her here.