Sa dre ko Malolo – Petero Mataca 1933 – 2014

The Emeritus Archbishop of Suva Petero Mataca passed away at the Suva Private Hospital on Monday morning 30 June 2014  after a long illness.

His successor, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong said   “We thank him for his tireless commitment and in his own words we say: Sa dre ko Malolo. It is time to say goodbye. Eternal Rest Grant to Him O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May His Soul Rest in Peace.”

Chong said the Catholic Church in Fiji and Rotuma has come a long way under Archbishop Mataca’s guidance over the past 40 years.

Mataca was was born in Cawaci, Ovalau, on April 28, 1933.

He was educated at St. John’s College in Levuka.

Mataca was ordained a priest on 20 December, 1959.

In December 1974, he was ordained the first iTaukei bishop in an event which signified a historical turning point for the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji.

Following his ordination as Bishop and later when he became the Archbishop of Suva in 1976, Mataca continued to be an ardent advocate of the concept of local Church.

“He was a man dedicated to the task of leadership and visitation and he has earned deep respect  from all churches and ethnic groups in Fiji,” said Fr. Michael O’Connor, the Rector of the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva.

“Taking over soon after the [Second Vatican] Council he was charged with implementing the Council and continuing the work of translating begun by Archbishop Pearce.”

“He often spoke of his ideal that the church should be self governing, self supporting and self ministering.”

“In particular he encouraged vocations and supported the seminary.”

“He called a synod with the intention that there be more participation of laity in various church committees and he strongly encouraged reliance on local resources rather than appealing overseas.”

O’Connor said the coups put a stop to his plans.


  • Supplied. Fr. Michael O’Connor sm
  • Press release. Archdiocesan Curia in Suva
  • Image: Anglican Taonga

News category: Asia Pacific, Top Story.

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