A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Death of a Marist

Bro Clément Bonhommeau SM

Born 11 October 1926,
St Mars de Goutais, Loire-Atlantique, France

Professed 31 May 1951 at La Neylière
Died 23 January 2020, Finetomai, Wallis

Bro Clément was the third child in a family of five girls and four boys. He was baptised on 22 October 1926 at St Mars, where he made his first communion in December 1932 and was confirmed on 27 June 1938. He attended primary school from October 1932 until June 1939. During the Second World War, he worked on his parents’ farm. He underwent military service from October 1946 until September 1947, and from December 1947 until February 1948.

Clément became a postulant on 18 November 1949 at La Neylière, and did his novitiate there from May 1950 until May 1951.

From October 1951 until June 1953, he trained in carpentry at Fr Lamache’s Professional College in Lyons. For health reasons, he had a break of six months at the Marist School of La Seyne. Having achieved his qualifications in carpentry, he undertook renovation work at La Neylière from July 1953 until June 1955. Bro Clément made his final vows at La Neylière on 6 June 1954.

In June 1955, Clément’s request to work in the missions was accepted. He was appointed to Wallis and Futuna. He departed from Marseilles for Melbourne on board the Arensker on 2 February 1956, and flew from Melbourne to Sydney on 19 March, his first flight. He left Sydney for Nouméa, New Caledonia, aboard the Resurgent on 5 April, after which he spent six months in New Caledonia waiting for a ship. On 14 October he left Nouméa on 14 October, on the Maria del Mar, for Port Vila; then on to Futuna, where, on 30 October he made a pilgrimage to Poi on foot. He arrived in Wallis on 4 November and, after more than nine months of travels, reached his final destination, Malaetoli, on 11 November.

Bro Clément ministered faithfully at Malaetoli, Wallis, until 14 May 1974; then at Kolopelu, Futuna, until 19 January 2017. From Kolopelu, he was appointed to Finetomai, on the island of Wallis, where he died.

May he rest in peace.

Source: Oceania Bulletin, 27 January 2020,
with thanks to P. François Grossin SM

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