It was a weekend full of excitement and joy for the young and not so young of the parish. They were all filled by the gifts of the Holy Spirit when they received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday 19 October, 2014.
The weekend retreat started on Friday evening when the almost 200 candidates gathered in the Hall behind the Church. They came from Leualesi, Leloto, Lealafaalava and Leauva’a. The program started with the prayer service and the input prepared by Deacon Falanisisi Tuliatu. After a hearty dinner we had a Holy Hour with adoration and benediction, together with some input prepared by Deacon Iosefo Sala.
Saturday morning began with the Eucharist at 5.45am, and it was the feast day of St Luke the Evangelist. The parish priest was the main celebrant and his homily was focused on the life of St Luke and how he accepted the call to be an evangelist and be a proclaimer of the word of God. What St Luke did in his time, is exactly the same with us who are preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation. It is to confirm our faith and be strengthened by the different gifts of the Holy Spirit. After mass the Catechist Lui Faitaua gave another input to the candidates.
At 11.30am they were all gathered in the church prepared for their confession. Fr Filipo Kapeli and Fr Paselio Tevaga, together with two priests of the parish, were sitting for nearly two hours hearing confessions.
On Sunday at 8.30am, the big church of Leauva’a was filled with different faces, families, friends and relatives who all came to support candidates for their confirmation. Archbishop Alapati was the main celebrant with the help of Fr Visesio Muliaga sdb and the parish priest, together with two Deacons on the sanctuary.
Archbishop Alapati challenged the village to continue to be missionaries of the faith. If our ancestors were the ones who accepted the Catholic faith on our shores, we should be the first to say ‘yes’ to God in his call. Our young people today receive the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of confirmation; they should be our future missionaries, to proclaim the word of God and be soldiers for Christ.
It was a great ceremony and it was a blessing for the parish to host the Archbishop for the first time this year for his apostolic visitation.
Fr Sefo Mulipola