Tonga celebrates with their new Cardinal

Last Friday hundreds of people gathered at the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua in Nuku’alofa and then marched to the Royal Palace to present the traditional “hala” of the Diocese of Tonga and Niue to His Majesty King Tupou VI.

Lau teau ne nau ‘i he fakatu’uta hala e Siasi Katolika

The ceremony took place to honour Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, the first Tongan to be appointed to the College of Cardinals.

The cardinal was accompanied into the Palace Grounds by vicar-general, Monsignor Lutoviko Finau and former prime minister Lord Sevele of Vailahi.

Students from Catholic high schools and colleges and youth groups from Australia and New Zealand also joined the march.

The presentation was followed by a family presentation and entertainment to the Cardinal at his residence, Kaingafo’ou in Fanga ‘o Pilolevu.

On Saturday there was a celebratory feast in the grounds of ‘Apifo’ou College.

Organised by the Catholic Diocese of Tonga, the celebration included feasting and traditional dances by various parishes.

King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u were among the guests.

Crown Princess Sinaitakala was the vāhenga [the centre position, the highest position in the dance] in a lakalaka [a metaphorical danced speech] by Ma’ufanga, while a ma’ulu’ulu [a traditional dance performed by a group of seated men and women] was performed by Nuku’alofa, a group tau’olunga [girls’ dance] from Australia, a lakalaka by Takuilau College and a kailao [war dance] by Houma.

The Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and other members of the Royal Family along with the Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva also attended.


News category: Asia Pacific.

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