We are an International Institute of Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception living the Franciscan way of life in a Melanesian culture. There is much of the Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi that is a natural part of our people here, an appreciation of community, a love of nature, a simple life-style, and a friendly spirit.
We feel called to live the Gospel joyfully in a community of faith and prayer. As national sisters and ex-patriots we work together trying to respond to the needs of the Church and the world.
The symbol we have chosen for our Province is the “bilum” containing a bible. “Bilum” is a pidgin word for womb, and it is also the word for string bag. In the womb new life begins and is nurtured. In the string bag, the mother carries everything that nourishes the life of her family, for example, food from the garden. It is also in the bilum that the mother carries her new-born baby and hangs it up to sleep. In a culture where child-bearing is of high value, the bilum provides a powerful image for us as religious women and did not Francis say to us, “You are mothers when you bear Christ for the world”? To bring forth the Word Incarnate, to nurture the Word in our communities and villages where we work, is the task of the Mother of the Word Province.