Fr Damian celebrates his 89th birthday

Fr Damian

Father Damian Marinus celebrated his 89th birthday last Saturday.

He arrived in the Cook Islands with his life-long friend Father John Rovers on November 11, 1957.

His first appointments in the Cook Islands were to Mauke and Atiu.

“Over time, Father John identified with Mauke and Father Damian with Atiu,” said Bishop Paul Donoghue speaking at the celebration.

“Father Damian’s work had him teaching in the Catholic School on Atiu. When this closed, he continued as a teacher in the government school.

“Damian later took a year of study at a university in Manila in the Philippines.

“He was then appointed to the staff of the Pacific regional Seminary in Fiji where he served for around six years as the one who taught spirituality to those training for the priesthood.

“On returning to the Cook Islands Damian became parish priest of both Sacred Heart Matavera and St Paul’s Titikaveka.”

He served both parishes for over 20 years. At the same time, he was chancellor (finance officer) of the diocese.

Damian’s expertise was acknowledged recently when the Te Koreromotu Ou – Reo Maori Kuki Airani (CIMRNT) version of the New Testament was published.

The translation has been done by a committee of which Father Damian was a long-serving member.

Father Damian now lives in retirement.

“When Father Damian retired, many people commented that the road was safer with the absence of the red motorbike he rode.” said Bishop Paul.

“On very wet days he would take the bus, and the kindly drivers would add in a special stop in St Joseph’s road at which only Father Damian was allowed off the bus.”


News category: Asia Pacific.

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