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Teacher  now active among the lonely and homeless.

Sister Alice Marie Vivien, who has been a missionary in Seychelles since 2008 and a nun for 47 years, does not look her age.

 

At 72, she is still sturdy and full of energy which she displays with her counseling at the Centre  d’Accueil de la Rosiere  to help drug victims in their rehabilitation efforts and also as a “Pasteur  de la Nuit” to assist the homeless and sex workers.
Commenting the citizenship bestowed on her Thursday last week by President Danny Faure, she said: It was a happy surprise. I viewed it as a gift from Heaven.”
She adds that she heard the news from Her Provincial Sister Rita at St Joseph Convent, where she resides.
“I regarded it as recognition for my work”, she said adding that it was great renewing her friendship with President Faure, whom she has known since he was Vice-President.
Sister Alice Vivien hails from Port Louis, Mauritius, which she left after schooling at 22 years old to enter convent in Paris.
She was a Noviciat at “La Maison Mere” and took her vows three years later.
She taught at primary school, before studying and sitting for her “Baccalaureat”, the French equivalent of A-Levels.
Sister Alice went to University in Lyons and then Montpellier, emerging with a Masters in English.
She also went to Ireland for a year, studying theology and other spiritual subjects.
In 1975, she moved to the French Island of Reunion, where she taught at the Immaculate Conception Convent, of which she eventually became deputy Director. She rose to Director, when this merged with the St Michel College for boys.
It was then that she obtained French citizenship and has made use of her French passport while travelling abroad, since her Mauritian one expired and was not renewed.
Sister Alice left Reunion for health reasons in 1982, moving to another French department- Guyana on the other side of the world- in Latin America.
She was to stay in Guyana for 12 years, where she formed part of the “Chapitre General de la Congregation”, which meant she was reaching out to the poorest.
From there, she moved to Papua New Guinea, another very poor country in the Pacific, where she made use of her skills in human counseling and family therapy.
Sister Alice is in Seychelles since 2008. She is active in the Centre d’Accueil de la Rosiere, where she helps to rehabilitate youths hooked on drugs.
In addition to counseling couples and individuals who visit her at St Joseph Convent, she is also active as “a Pasteur de la Nuit”, a volunteer group touring Victoria between 10pm and 2 am.
The group which has some 40 members, divided in teams of 8, tour walk the streets of Victoria bringing solace to the homeless, “ those who somehow have lost their way”.  Sister Alice notes that the 8-strong team is usually divided into two groups, one which goes on the streets, headed by a man and another three who remain at base.
“After the first contact, we engage them in conversation and often offer them a pair a slippers and water is that is desired, but no food.   We also pick up any broken bottles we may find as these can injured pedestrians.”
Sister Alice believes the group is doing useful work, also assisting alcoholics and sex workers and suggesting that they change their way of life.
Sister Alice is also part of the Bishop’s Council and often accompanies Bishop Denis Wiehe as part of the  CEDOI (Conference Episcopale de l’Ocean  Indien),  which groups the heads of diocese of the Indian Ocean,  notably Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and the Comoros.

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