Why the vast church buildings in Pacific countries?

The Archbishop of Suva Peter Loy Chong says Pacific Island countries are known for their vast church buildings.

“Throughout the Pacific, we see churches and in Samoa, they can have two in one village, so it shows something and that is the hunger for God in probably third world countries,” he said.

“It also shows the connection between us and God and when people are faced with situations of this world, they cannot seem to move along whether it be natural disaster, economical or other factors.”

“So there is always a hunger and people feel that vacuum. The church is a place where people can go and it is not just a building but it serves a purpose.”

The archbishop was speaking at the blessing of a new church in Nadavaci Village.

Chong reminded those present that the building was a safe haven used by most people in times of reaching out to God.

He asked the 1000 people who attended the function to treat the church with sacredness.

“As human beings we are finite and because of our limitedness, we always want to reach out to God or to a supreme being,”  Chong said.

“That is why the church is an important dimension of our lives and it serves something that life needs.

“In this busy world and the changes, brought about by globalisation, the church is a place where people can go to for a quiet time with God and a place to get away from the busy world.”

Catholics  parishioners of Natewa and Tunuloa districts raised $80,000 to build their church in Nadavaci Village.

It has taken us about 40 years to plan and complete the construction of the church.

Church members in the area had agreed to raise funds without burdening families.

Headed by Nadavaci villager Selesitino Bainiusa, members gave a monthly contribution of their own choosing.

“Whatever the members could give was more than enough for this church building and its costs,” he said.

“This is one challenging project because four years after construction (began), all works stopped and we experienced something in the village.”

Bainiusa said the wild pigs from the forest were coming into homes and kitchens, eating food and causing damage.

“It never happened before so when the wild pigs came into the village, which is very rare, our elders told us that we needed to finish the church,” he said.

“As soon as we resumed work in building the church, the wild pigs just disappeared and never turned up again in the village.”

“That is why we will always treasure our contribution and the words of wisdom of our elders.”

Another villager Iosefo Cagilaba met a good Samaritan, an Italian Catholic priest who gave $39,000 to complete the work.

“I was working in a resort on Taveuni and Fr Edward used to come for holidays and I asked him one day for his assistance,” he said.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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