The three members of Fiji/Tonga Team 11 of the Columban lay Missionaries arrived in the Philippines on 28 December 2015 and flew two days later to Cagayan de Oro where they celebrated the New Year of 2016. On 4 January they began a six-month course in the Cebuano language at the Maryknoll Institute of Language and Culture, Davao City. They are now assigned in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, where their Columban companions are Fr Paul Finlayson from New Zealand and two Peruvians, Fr Enrique Escobar and lay missionary Ana Belma Flores. Haiti and Liliani are from Tonga while Vasemaca is from Fiji. The Columbans have been in Fiji since 1952. Despite the fact that we have never worked in Tonga we now have both priests and lay missionaries from that island nation.

The three joined the Columban Lay Missionaries Accompaniment Program in 2014 and the nine-month Orientation Program last year. The latter included the first quarter (three months) of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

Haiti Müller.

Haiti was born on 10 May 1986 and hails from Hihifo Parish, Tonga.  She studied at the Government Primary School of Fatai, APi Foou College and Ahopanilolo Technical College studying- Commercial Cookery and Catering.

She worked as a Mary Potter volunteer and was a novice in the Little Company of Mary. She is the daughter of Kauulu Fonua and Mele Kaneisini Müller and is the youngest in the family. Her mother passed away in 2013. Her Dad lives in Tonga. She comes from a strong Catholic family.

Haiti is open and talkative.  She is gifted with her hands, very good in creative liturgy. She has completed her 2nd quarter of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).  She likes cooking and singing.  When Haiti was a novice of the Little Company of Mary she was sent to Manila. Her motivation for mission is to serve God and others.

Haiti with family members and Cardinal Mafi, Bishop of Tonga

Vasemaca Rokotukana Ratu.

Vasemaca, ‘Va’, is a member of St Agnes Parish, Samabula, and hails from Vuaki, Yasawa, Fiji.  She was born on 4 August 1990 and the youngest daughter of Venasio and Mereoni Ratu.  She comes from a strong Catholic Family. She studied at Nasomolevu Catholic School, Jasper Williams High School and Fiji National University where she studied Electrical Engineering.  She worked as a technician.

Vasemaca likes singing and playing the guitar. She wants to help the poor and persons with disabilities.  

Vasemaca with her parents Venasio and Mereoni

Liliani Losi Ma’afu.

 Liliani was born on 1 April 1986 and is the daughter of Sikifi and Ateliana Ma’afu. She hails from Lapaha, Tonga. Her Dad has passed away.  She is the fourth of eleven siblings.  She comes from a family of seven sisters and four brothers.

She studied at the Government Primary School of Mu’, Takuilau College and St Joseph Business College where she took Secretarial and Computer Studies. She worked as a secretary for the Youth in the Diocese of Tonga.

Liliani has good computer skills. She loves to play netball and to cook. She wants to work with the poor.

Fr John McEvoy with Vasemaca (back) Haiti (L) and Liliani