On Sunday 29 January 2017 the parish of Sinamoga/Moamoa, Samoa, celebrated the feast of its patron St John Bosco. It was also the occasion for the official inauguration of the new Pacific Delegation, within the Australia-Pacific Province and the installation of the first Delegate and his Council.
Fr Greg Chambers, Provincial of the Australia-Pacific Province (AUL) was the celebrant of the Eucharist during which he inaugurated the Delegation and Installed the Council. Fr Petelo Vito Pau, Rector of the Alafua community and Parish Priest of the Sinamoga/Moamoa Parish is the Delegate and the members of his Council are Fr Taisali Leuluai, Parish Priest of Leauva’a, Samoa, Fr James Kyaw Hoe, Director of Novices and Vice Rector of the Formation Community in Suva, Fiji Islands, and Fr Mathew Vadakkevettuvazhiyil, Priest in Charge and Parish Priest of Avondale in Auckland, New Zealand.
This new Delegation is comprised of the Salesian communities and missions in the three countries of Samoa, Fiji Islands and Samoa:
- Alafua, Samoa – 7 Confreres, 4 Aspirants – 3 Parishes, Technical Centre and Aspirantate/Pre-Novititate
- Salelologa, Samoa – 4 Confreres – Secondary College, Technical Centre and Parish
- Massey, New Zealand – 5 Confreres – 2 Parishes
- Suva, Fiji Islands – 3 Formators, 6 Students in Formation, and 6 Novices – House of Formation and Novitiate (Note: A new parish will be entrusted to the care of this community during 2017)
Present for the this important celebration, in addition to all of the confreres working in Samoa, were Fr Bernie Graham, Vice Provincial of the AUL Province, Fr Nick Castelyns, former long-time missionary in Samoa and all of the young Samoan confreres who were home from Fiji on summer vacation, many of the Salesian Sisters based in Samoa and representatives of other religious families in Samoa.
The Salesian mission in Samoa began in 1979, in Fiji Islands in 1999 and in New Zealand in 2009. This Inauguration marks another significant step in the consolidation of the Salesian presence in the Pacific, following only months after the establishment of the new Vice Province of Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands (PGS) in 2016.
By Fr Bernie Graham SDB