Falealupo, Savaii, Samoa, 15 November 2022 -- On the eve of the first celebration of Br Artemides Zatti as the newly canonized saint, the Salesians in Samoa gave praise to God with the priestly ordination of Fr Atonio Lealea at their parish church in Falealupo, Savaii in Samoa.
Archbishop Alapati of Apia ordained Fr Atonio at the parish church of Falealupo on Saturday 12th November at 9:00 am. The Archbishop began the Eucharist and ordained Atonio. Yet, due to the Archbishop's ill health, the Delegate of the Pacific, Fr Petelo Vito continued the Eucharist from the Offertory to the end.
At the conclusion of the Eucharist, Fr Atonio thanked all who had supported in his long journey of formation from Samoa, Australia to Fiji. It was good to see a number of guests from Fiji present at this important event.
On the following day 13th November, Fr Atonio celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving together with the celebration of St Artemide Zatti at his local parish church that was well attended by many families and friends, and religious including a number of Salesian Sisters. Fr Sinapati Ioane SDB, companion along his formation journey, preached the homily. At the end of the Eucharist, the Provincial thanked and congratulated Fr Atonio for his perseverance and willingness to serve God’s people as a Salesian priest of Don Bosco.
On Monday 14th November, Fr Atonio also celebrated a special Mass in Salelologa community to celebrate St Zatti in a special way and to thank the community for their support and the visitors from Fiji their presence. Fr Provincial delivered the homily focusing on Zatti as a selfless Christian for the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls.
The Pacific Delegation and the Australia Province thanked God for allowing them to celebrate St Zatti with the grace of a newly ordained priest.