Feb news 2022

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Keeper of the flame

A tribute to late Fr Lawrence (Larry) Hannan SM from the Formator of Marist College, Suva, Fr Donato Kivi SM.

Late Fr Larry was born on the 29.06.1922 in Dundalk, Ireland. He was professed on the 08.09.1942, ordained a Marist priest in 1948, and he died on the 06.02.2015. He spent all his missionary life in Fiji starting in 1949 until his death 67 years later, aged 93.

This is a tribute to him from the formator of Marist College, Fr Donato Kivi sm, on the occasion of the publication of his life journal titled, "Keeper of the Flame".

Keeper of the flame cover Larry

We started our academic year with a recollection last Sunday with some reflections from Fr. Larry Hannan’s book, “Keeper of the Flame”. It was awe-inspiring for me as I had read it two days earlier. After reading the book, I had to change my recollection talk and inserted some of Larry’s words as I found it proper for someone his calibre to talk to the students for me as we began the year. It was breathtaking in the sense that it brought Fr. Larry to life. He was a formator (semi-retired) and a spiritual director when I started as a seminarian at Marist College. Like a jolt of electricity, his words alerted us into readiness for another year. His journal deeply moved me as if he was telling me his story in a personal way, just like he did when he was directing me during those seminary years. The little book is an inspiring read of a saintly Marist who spent 67 years in a foreign land. Like many Marists that came to Oceania, they were equipped with all kinds of necessary skills from farming, building, plumbing, bookkeeping, etcetera; you name it, Fr. Larry seemed always to have one up his sleeve - he could even shoe a horse.

Fr. Larry is another Marist giant, a tireless shepherd who came ready to feed his flock in a distant land. A man fully charged, never slowed down even in his later years when he was partially blind. It was only right to say that he was “a man fully alive”, as in the word of St. Irenaeus, where we “see the glory of God.” To be robust and have a zest for life. He lived out his principle that “you should never walk when you can run … with new initiatives and plans, it was never advisable to stand in the way for you might get run over.”

I would like to thank Fr. John Hannan, our former Superior General, for making this beautiful book available to us through the work of Fr. Larry’s brother Peter Hannan, SJ and his other brother Michael Hannan for the production. Thank you to the Hannans alive and those in eternal life for giving and supporting your courageous son, brother, cousin for the mission of the Church in Oceania. We will never forget how he has touched, formed and enflamed us with his faith and love for the Society. We will always remember you Fr. Larry, you are a true “Keeper of the Flame”. Donato Kivi. Sm.





Former missionary

Meeting up with Fr Paddy Stanley SM

Fr Xavier Sariman sm of Oceania, while undertaking formation studies in Ireland, had the opportunity to be reconnected to a former missionary to Oceania, Fr Paddy Stanley. He had spent around 15 years in the mission of the Solomon Islands before returning to his home province. He was like hundreds of other missionaries who left for Oceania almost immediately after their ordination. He was ordained in 1981 and left for the Solomons after a few months. He is currently serving in St Brendan parish, Coolock, Ireland. 

Solomon exmissionary