Another I-Kiribati woman takes final vows

final vows

Sister Tibwau Matia recently took her final vows as a Sister of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict, becoming the third I-Kiribati woman to do so.

The Rite of Perpetual Profession took place during Eucharist at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Kiribati’s main island, Tarawa, in the presence of about 250 people.

“Speaking my vows and signing them before the people was also very special. When I placed them on the altar I felt I was giving my whole life to God,” she said.

Tibwau Matia has had a long association with the Good Samaritan Sisters.

She first met them as a nine-year-old soon after their arrival in Kiribati in 1991 when they settled near her family.

Now, 26 years on, that neighbourly connection has grown into something much more.

Tibwau, age 35, was born and raised in Nabeina on North Tarawa. She attended primary school in the village of Abaunamou before completing her secondary education at St Louis High School, Teaoraereke.

Following high school, Tibwau worked as a computer operator at the local hospital.

In more recent years she has completed a Certificate in Early Childhood Education through the University of the South Pacific (Kiribati Campus) as well as theology and scripture studies at the Kiribati Pastoral Institute.

Congregational Leader Sister Clare Condon described Tibwau’s perpetual profession as “a delightful experience of Kiribati culture and Good Samaritan Benedictine values in concert with each other.

“Her family and the Kiribati Pastoral Institute provided the singing and dancing throughout the ceremony,” Clare said.

“Tibwau is the third Kiribati woman to make perpetual profession in the congregation; together with two temporary professed sisters, three novices and three pre-novices the sisters are creating their own Good Samaritan Kiribati life together.”

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News category: Asia Pacific.