For 62 years, Sister Teresa Momoyalewa lived a life dedicated to her religion as a Sister of Saint Joseph of Cluny.
She sadly passed away on Monday night aged 82, the Cook Islands Catholic community announced.
The New Zealand Saint Joseph’s Secondary School alumnae said Sister Teresa leaves behind a legacy of good morals, singing God’s praise and great leadership.
She was their principal at St Anne’s School in Fiji and she also spent time at St Joseph’s Secondary School continuing her great work.
“We were very privileged to have spent time with Sister in a few occasions while she was in New Zealand. Rest in God’s love sister we thank you for your service to us and the whole Fiji community. Your commitment to the Lord was inspiring.”
Saint Joseph’s Secondary School alumnae in Fiji in their condolence message said that Sister Theresa would always be remembered as a very strict and disciplined teacher, nun and principal to those who were taught by her or were under her leadership.
“She was admired as a great woman of faith, dignity, respect and with a heart of service. Thank you, Sister Theresa, for the life values that you taught many of us which has made us strong and great achievers today.”
Bishop Paul Donoghue said in the Cook Islands Sister Teresa’s major responsibility was being a principal of St Joseph’s Catholic School from when she arrived in 1994 until 2005.
Apart from one year, 2007 she has been present in the diocese for 26 years and she officially retired in 2015.
He said Sister Teresa was born in Fiji on April 8, 1938 and was baptised Salina Momoyalewa.
In 1954 she started postulancy in Auckland and was professed on January 14, 1958.
“As well as the 80 years of life of Salina Momoyalewa, it is the 60 years as Sister Teresa of Mary Immaculate that I must focus on,” he said.
“Sixty years of religious life as a Sister of St Joseph of Cluny; 60 years of living the three vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, 60 years of living in community with other members of the Cluny Sisters, 60 years of carrying out the mission of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny as expressed first in the constitutions written by the foundress, Anne Marie Javouahey.”
This evening (Wednesday) at 6pm will be the family (Vigil) service until 8.30pm. Then an all-night vigil will commence at 9pm finishing with the funeral mass and burial on Thursday at 9am.