Suva, Fiji, 7 June 2022 -- On Pentecost Sunday, sixty-four candidates received the Sacrament by His Grace Archbishop Peter Loy Chong. This historical event, the first in our new parish, was attended by parishioners, family members of the Confirmation candidates and friends from other parts of the islands of Fiji. It was a historical event as our parish hosted a Confirmation for the very first time since we opened our Saint John Bosco Parish in Fiji.
At the homily, the Archbishop invited five Confirmation candidates to share their experience of God in their lives. There were spontaneous acknowledgements and expressions of gratitude for their instructors, their parents and sponsors who guided and accompanied them through the long journey of preparation for this moment of grace. They spoke of experiencing God’s presence in the gift of the sun and creation, in the challenging times of job loss, illness and death during the pandemic lockdown.
The lively, energetic and joyful singing of the parish youth under the direction of Jona Vetaukula Vianny and Fr. Tuia Afoa, touched many hearts. The group of young people presented the gifts for the Eucharistic Celebration in the traditional way that is unique to the people of Rotuma.
The men of the parish welcomed the Archbishop with the traditional Fijian kava ceremony and the women prepared light refreshments for all while many approached the Archbishop for a chat and share the afternoon with him.
Later in the evening, the parishioners gathered to hear the Archbishop speak about leadership roles in the parish involving a team that accompanies the parish priest. He highlighted the need to make the Sunday liturgy meaningful with special attention that needs to be given to the “three H’s,” hymns, the homily and hospitality.
We continue to prayer and accompany the candidates who were confirmed, for their parents and families that together we move forward as missionaries of God love and joy.