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CONGREGATION OF THE SACRED HEARTS
of JESUS and MARY
General Government of the Brothers and Sisters, Rome

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Saia Fainga'a Ordination to Priesthood (Tonga)

On December 16th, 2023, Br. Saia Fainga’a was ordained to the order of priesthood. The Bishop of Tonga and Niue, His Eminence Soane Patita Cardinal Mafi, ordained our Sacred Hearts brother into the ministry of priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Ma’ofanga.

It was a day filled with joy for the Sacred Hearts Congregation, welcoming another brother into ordination, and for Fr. Saia’s family, witnessing their eldest son ordained to this sacred ministry. Many families and friends of Saia came from all over the world to witness this unanimous moment. The Provincial Superior of the US Province, Fr. Lane Akiona, came from Hawaii, including the brothers in the formation house in Fiji, to join and witness this joyful moment.

During the ordination, Cardinal Mafi shared how we need to remember those who laid the foundation in our vocation journey, recalling Saia’s grandparents and their faithfulness in serving the church when he was the parish priest in Ha’apai. Cardinal Mafi knows the background of Saia’s family and reminds Saia not to forget the humble beginning of his journey, as this ministry to priesthood will open many doors. He emphasizes the importance of the vows of obedience during his homily, challenging but essential vows that we choose to follow, not the church choosing us. Cardinal Mafi also values the charism of love and hospitality of the Sacred Hearts, which he experienced during his recovery time in Rome at the Sacred Hearts General House. He expresses gratitude to Fr. Alberto Toutin, the General Superior, for allowing the General House for his recovery. The homily guides Fr. Saia on how to live a faithful life in serving this ministry of priesthood. The music during the ordination was beautiful, and after the Ordination Mass, there was a mini celebration outside of the church to mark this great occasion.

Link to the photo gallery https://acortar.link/w9DMye
Link to the videohttps://cutt.ly/ewSFs4nw

Fr. Saia’s First Mass

On the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, Fr. Saia Fainga’a celebrated his first Mass at the Carmelite Convent ground in Fahefa. The Hihifo Parish led the liturgy, and Fr. Saia’s uncle, Fr. Lutoviko Manu, SM, delivered an extremely inspiring homily. Fr. Lutoviko shared how the readings are connected with the celebration of joy, reminding Fr. Saia that it was he alone who chose to join religious life. Facing obstacles in religious life, perseverance is crucial as it helps form us to understand reality. Life as a priest is not easy, but finding joy in journeying with the people and being a good shepherd in guiding them is fulfilling. Fr. Lutoviko also reminded Fr. Saia of the spirit of hospitality, the congregation's charism, allowing him to draw people and be a welcoming presence. He emphasized the historical connection of the Sacred Hearts and the Marist, highlighting the importance of hospitality in hosting the Marist on their way to evangelize the South Pacific. The Mass was well-attended by family and friends. After the first Mass, the Hihifo Parish invited all of Fr. Saia’s guests to a luncheon at the main parish in Kolovai, making it a Sunday of feasting and celebrating this significant moment in Fr. Saia’s journey.

 

12/18/2023