Lofty - No Ordinary Bishop is the story of a New Zealand born Marist Priest, Gerard Loft who served in the Solomon Islands for 46 years between 1959-2005 (including Bishop of Auki from 1983). Lofty was described by the current Bishop, Chris Cardone as a great missionary: "Gerry planted the seeds of the faith in literally thousands of people – many of them naked pagans; and the seed has grown and flourished because of Gerry’s love for the Lord and everyone who he met. Gerry’s legacy is: The largest number of local vocations to the Catholic priesthood of any diocese in Oceania; Our outstanding group of married couples who are nourished by marriage encounter spirituality. An outstanding Catholic Women’s program that greatly lifts up the life of our hard working mothers." As a young priest he would set up a mission station and having learnt the local language he would be moved to another station to start all over again. He came to love the Solomon Islanders and learnt most of their languages. After ordination as Bishop of Auki, he became a beggar to raise funds to build a new diocesan centre; then everything was destroyed by a cyclone. He stayed through times of unrest and civil war, was robbed thirteen times, was ill and could not obtain medical treatment on some occasions. Robin Leamy, S.M. who had known “Lofty” for 60 years, said “Gerry loved people, he loved being with people and he loved to joke with people. He had an extraordinary gift of being able to relate to everyone. But above all, Gerry was a prayerful man – a spiritual person who loved his God and served his Lord with generosity.” Fr Kerry Prendeville, S.M. who worked with Bishop Loft in the Solomon Islands, said “the bishop had been a teacher, linguist, builder, farmer and mechanic who spent a lot of his time in boats, often in hazardous circumstances. He was a priest, doctor, social worker and advocate for his people, answering their call in all weathers. Above all, he had been “an extraordinary fisher of people.” Bishop Loft had been vulnerable and sometimes insolvent, through using his own money to bring the pregnant and sick to hospital, or the dead home to bury. “Lofty” had been a challenge to the Vatican, where an official had asked him if he was the bishop who kept losing his episcopal ring and asking for another. “Whether he hocked it or lost it, I don’t know,” said Fr Prendeville. Michael McVerry wrote, “Gerry the man was difficult to separate from Gerry the man of God. He was of God. This is where his passion came from. This is where he was energized to keep on keeping on with a wit and humility that sourced his faithfulness in the face of massive discouragement and hardship. If holiness is humbly grinning and getting up again after disappointment and plans gone awry, after physical and human cyclones, after flat tyres and human failures had brought him to his knees, after his house was burgled repeatedly and his people were scattered and dispersed by the civil tensions, after those upon whom he placed his hopes left him to begin again, then Gerry must have gained a doctorate in the heave-ho of perseverance and faithfulness over a long period. He was a compassionate man... down to the point of spending his personal medical insurance on others as he responded time and time again to ‘I have no boat fare to go home from the hospital’ requests that saw him as ‘the last hope’ for many in trouble." This biography of an extraordinary priest contains many of Bishop Loft's letters back home to New Zealand and so provides a first hand insight into the life he faced in the Solomons. Lavishly illustrated with personal and local photos of the Solomon Islands, be transported into the world of a South Pacific Island transformed by the work of a dedicated priest.
Description du livre CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Paperback. État : Brand New. This item is printed on demand. N° de réf. du libraire zk1495488349