The Catholic Church in the Solomon Islands

Our three dioceses are:

Archdiocese of Honiara
Diocese of Auki
Diocese of Gizo

Voice Katolika

Recent press releases

Recent activites on the Solomons include the hosting of the Olympic Torch Relay, an impressive ceremony. Solomons also hosted the Commonwealth Youth Meeting.

The Voice Katolika is the NewsLetter of the Diocese. (click here)

Salesians of Don Bosco - links to our sites

The Catholic Church in the Solomon Islands is just a little about a hundred years old. It was established by the Marist Missionaries who are strong in the Pacific. They have done a great job in establishing the Church - some even dying for the faith.

Today in the Solomons, they are sharing their mission with other congregations. There are just a few congregations of Dominicans, Vincentians, Salesians, MSp - a misssionary congregation from the Philippines.


Solomon Islands
is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. Its largest islands are Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, San Cristobal, and Santa Isabel. Its many other islands include Bellona, Rennell, and the Santa Cruz Islands.

The country's largest islands are part of an island chain that is also called the Solomon Islands. But not all the islands in the chain belong to the country. Bougainville, Buka, and a few smaller islands in the northern part of the chain are part of Papua New Guinea.

The Solomon Islands lies about 1,600 kilometres northeast of Australia. It has a land area of 28,896 square kilometres. The country spreads over about 600,000 square kilometres of ocean. About 416,000 people live in the Solomon Islands.

The United Kingdom (UK) ruled the Solomons from 1893 to 1978, when the islands became independent. Honiara, on Guadalcanal, is the capital and largest community of the Solomons. It has a population of about 30,000. (about 60,000 today). The Solomon Islands dollar is the country's basic unit of currency. "God Save Our Solomon Islands" is the national anthem.
Government: The Solomon Islands is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. A prime minister, who is the leader of the political party with the most seats in Parliament, heads the government. A 15-member Cabinet helps the prime minister run the government. Cabinet members are appointed by the prime minister. A 38-member Parliament makes the country's laws. The people elect the members of Parliament to four-year terms. A governor general represents the UK monarch in the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands is divided into eight administrative areas--seven provinces and the city of Honiara. The provinces are governed by elected assemblies and Honiara is governed by a town council.

People. Most Solomon Islanders are dark-skinned people called Melanesians, and about 90 per cent of them live in rural villages. Many of the people build houses on stilts to keep the dwellings cool. The main foods of the people include chicken, fish, pork, coconuts, sweet potatoes, and taro, a tropical plant with one or more edible rootlike stems.

Although English is the official language of the Solomon Islands, about 90 languages are spoken among the Melanesians. The islanders also speak Solomons pidgin, a form of pidgin English, which helps them cross language barriers. About 80 per cent of the people are Protestants. The other islanders are Roman Catholics (17%) or follow local traditional beliefs. The nation has about 350 primary schools, about 20 secondary schools, and a College of Higher Education. About 200 islanders go to universities in Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Land and climate. The country's main islands were formed by volcanoes. They are rugged, mountainous, and covered with tropical plants. The islands range from 140 to 190 kilometres long and from 30 to 50 kilometres wide. Each island has a central spine of mountains. Some of the mountains are more than 1,200 metres high. The land drops sharply to the sea on one side of the island and gently to a narrow coastal strip on the other. Some of the outlying islands are atolls (ring-shaped coral reefs).

Rainfall in the Solomon Islands varies from 150 to 500 centimetres annually. Temperatures range from 20° to 32 °C.

Economy. Fish, timber, palm oil, cocoa, and copra (dried coconut meat) are the main products of the Solomon Islands. Japan buys much of the fish and timber exported by the country. Food, machinery, manufactured goods, and petrol are imported from Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. The country has good shipping services, but it has few roads. Air routes connect the Solomon Islands with Australia and other neighbouring islands. The government publishes a daily (five days a week) newspaper Solomon Star, a weekly Solomon Voice and Toktok and broadcasts radio programmes (SIBC Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation) in both English and Pidgin English. There are three FM radio stations in Honiara. Solomon Telekom relays Australian programmes.

History. Scholars believe the Solomon Islands were first settled about 6,000 years ago by people from New Guinea. In 1568, a Spanish explorer named Alvaro de Mendana became the first European to reach the islands. Few other Europeans went there for the next 200 years. From 1870 to 1911, Europeans recruited nearly 30,000 islanders to work on plantations in Fiji and in Queensland, Australia. Some of the islanders were recruited by force and treated harshly. As a result, Great Britain took control of most of the Solomons in 1893. By 1899, Great Britain had made all the Solomons part of a protectorate.

Guadalcanal and other islands in the Solomons were the scene of fierce fighting between Allied and Japanese forces in 1942 and 1943, during World War II. The Solomon Islands gained independence from Great Britain on July 7, 1978.

Guadalcanal Island:

... lies in the Coral Sea, east of the southern tip of New Guinea. It is the largest island of the nation of Solomon Islands. Honiara, the nation's capital and largest city, is on Guadalcanal. Guadalcanal covers 6,475 square kilometres. Mountains on the island rise as high as 2,400 metres. Most of the 71,000 people are Melanesians. The island's chief products are bananas, coconuts, pineapples, rubber, and gold.

Japanese troops occupied Guadalcanal early in World War II (1939-1945). It was the scene of heavy fighting in 1942 and 1943 when United States forces landed and freed the island from Japanese occupation.

HONIARA:

Guadalcanal Island lies in the Coral Sea, east of the southern tip of New Guinea. It is the largest island of the nation of Solomon Islands. Honiara, the nation's capital and largest city, is on Guadalcanal. Guadalcanal covers 6,475 square kilometres. Mountains on the island rise as high as 2,400 metres. Most of the 71,000 people are Melanesians. The island's chief products are bananas, coconuts, pineapples, rubber, and gold.

Japanese troops occupied Guadalcanal early in World War II (1939-1945). It was the scene of heavy fighting in 1942 and 1943 when United States forces landed and freed the island from Japanese occupation.

 

For More Information about the Diocese of the Solomon Isalands,
please contact:


Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb
Catholic Communications Solomons
P.O. Box 566
Honiara - Solomon Islands
Tel: 677-22125 (O); 677-27111 (R)
Fax: 677-27222

E-mail: ambrose@donbosco.org.sb
ambrosesdb@csnmail.net


For a personal welcome to our Diocese - click here
God bless you.


Links to the Salesians of Don Bosco:
Christ the King Parish, Tetere
Catholic Communications Solomons
Rove Vocational Training Centre
Don Bosco Youth Centre
The Solomon Islands in Pictures
Tribute to Br. Edwin Merisinihinua FMS. St. Joseph's Temaru