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Blessing of a New SSCC Community House in Tonga (Brs)

“The newly painted white building stood glistening in the tropical sunshine.  A wide swath of crushed cream colored coral surrounded the building.  A large open-sided tent covered the hundreds of chairs set up for the guests, whose joy and gratitude were palpable as they gathered for the blessing of the new home of the SS.CC. in the Kingdom of Tonga. Cardinal Mafi arrived. His red cardinal’s robes shone in glorious contrast to the white building and coral as well as the habits of the numerous SS.CC. priests and seminarians who were present”. 

These words, offered by Fr. Martin O’Loghlen sscc fittingly described the setting as members of the United States Province gathered together on November 14 for the blessing of their new community house in Tonga. Brothers from the provincial government and the SSCC community there welcomed Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, as well as a cousin of the King of Tonga for the moving ceremony. 

Those who had assisted in the project, along with the Tongan people, who have so warmly welcomed the SSCC, were among specially invited guests.  As the Cardinal moved through the simply constructed building, blessing each room as he passed, ending with the solemn consecration of the altar, a great feeling of pride and thanksgiving seemed to sweep over all who were present, further strengthening the belief that a mission for the SSCC United States Province in this beautiful South Pacific Island was a decision that has called us to be better religious.