Fiji’s Wairiki Parish celebrates 150 years

Holy Cross Parish at Wairiki on the island of Taveuni in Fiji has just celebrated its 150th anniversary.

While presenting a whale’s tooth during the celebration Ratu Atonio, the son of the Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, pleaded with the church never to forget the people of Lalagavesi.

In 1863, before before going out to battle against the Tongan Ma’afu and his people,Tui Cakau Ratu Golea Lalabalavu approached a Catholic French priest in Wairiki, Father Favre.

Favre gave him a small cross reminding him that the cross should be their weapon.

Ratu Atonio said since the presentation of that first cross to his great ancestor the province had been blessed and protected under divine guidance.

Receiving the whale’s tooth, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong said since the presentation of the first cross that converted the people of Taveuni and part of Cakaudrove to Catholicism, the vanua and people of Cakaudrove were forever entrusted into the care of God.

Archbishop Chong also acknowledged other people who played an instrumental role in the historical event, especially Father Favre

The cross still sits in the church of the Holy Cross Parish.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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