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About Samoa


Samoa has a rich history spanning over thousands of years. The islands were originally settled by Polynesian voyagers around 1000 BC, who developed a distinct Samoan culture and society.  In the 18th century, Europeans first made contact with the islands, and Samoa was colonised by Germany in the late 19th century, before coming under New Zealand's administration from 1914 to 1962 when it gained independence. The country has a complex past marked by foreign occupations, but its indigenous culture has remained remarkably resilient. In June 2017, an Act was passed changing the country’s constitution to include a reference to the Trinity: ‘Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’





Main Religions

Christianity (official religion of Samoa)


Time Zone

UTC +12; Summer

(DST) UTC +13



Samoan, English






28,896 km²

Arrival of Marists


Number of Marist Brothers communities & location

2 - Mulivai and Alafua

Number of Brothers


Marist Schools & location

Secondary School: St Joseph’s College, Alafua, Apia.

Primary School: Marist Brothers Primary School, Mulivai, Apia

Marist Education in Samoa: Early Struggles and Resilience


On 14 April 1871, two Marist Brothers arrived at Apia. And on 1 May, they opened the first school at Saleufi. The conditions endured by these Brothers led them to withdraw from Samoa in 1877 and the school closed. However, a new community arrived on 18 August 1888 and the school was re-opened near the church at Mulivai on 4 September, but was confined to Europeans.

In 1890 one of the original Brothers returned to Samoa and was put in charge of a school for Samoans built on the Brothers’ land near the European school. During 1947 discussions were held by the government about establishing secondary schooling in Apia and the Brothers began planning their own secondary school and raising funds for it.

In February 1950 a suitable building was erected and St Joseph’s High School was blessed and officially opened on 25 November. This high school was renamed St Joseph’s College on its transfer to Lotopa at the beginning of 1960. The College was transferred to its present site at Alafua in 1988.






                                              Community at Apia, Samoa, 1890.


Annual staff formation program are delivered to staff of our two schools during the orientation week at the beginning of the year. The hope is to produce a local formation program to incorporate all members of the wider Champagnat Marist family in the near future.

Brothers and Communities

Currently there are two communities of Brothers in Samoa. One at the primary school, in Mulivai and one at St Joseph’s College, the secondary school in Alafua.

Br Siaosi Loane is Principal and Community Leader at Mulivai and lives there with Br Anitelea. This community is also the pre-Novitiate formation house. 

Marist Presence in Samoa

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