JOHN MARX | Catholic Church of PNG & Solomon Islands
FATHER ANTOINE FOURNIER MSC (1926-2013) was one of our great missionaries and it looked like God had prepared him for his mission from a very early age. He was born at Bramois in the canton of Valais, Switzerland, on 13 October 1926 to a poor but very pious family.
He was the sixth child of 18, of whom one became a priest, three were Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and one a lay missionary. From the tender ages of eight to 12 Antoine was separated from his family for six months each year and sent in solitude to mountain pasture. There he lived a frugal life, worked in the fields and slept on straw.
For most of his time in Papua New Guinea, Father Fournier worked as a missionary in the diocese of Bereina to which, after an extended rest in France to regain his physical and spiritual strength, he returned in 1989.