Cook Islands honours 2 priests and 120 years of service

On Sunday 24th of August, the Catholic church in the Cook Islands honoured 2 priests and their 120 years of service.

Fr. John Rovers and Fr. Damian Marinus celebrated their 6oth anniversary of ordination.

The entire Catholic Community of Rarotonga gathered at St. Joseph’s Cathedral for the event.

A celebration followed at St. Joseph Elementary School grounds.

On the actual day of the Jubilee, August 29, They flew to the Island of Ma’uke and celebrated there with the two parishes on that Island.

Fr. John and Fr. Damian were assigned to the Cook Islands at the time of their ordination.

In preparation for their missionary experience, they were sent to London for 4 months and New Zealand for 6 months to learn English.

They arrived in Rarotonga on the Maui Pomare on the 11th November 1957.

They have known each other since school days and are still good friends.

While both come from the south of Holland, other similarities in the two men can also be acknowledged.

Both, for example, have learnt the Maori language well, have participated in the administration of the Diocese, and have worked on the islands of Atiu, Mauke and Rarotonga.

Both also have the ability to encourage Cook Islanders to take responsibility for their church.

Fr John and Fr Damian belong to the The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, commonly known as the Picpus Fathers.

The Picpus Fathers have been working in the Cook Islands since 1894.

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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