One of the territory’s longest serving catechists, Asalemo Taulamago passes away
A holy man, a humble, committed teacher, a faithful servant and loving father were some of the words used by many to describe retired Catechist (Feasosoani Malolo Manumalo) Asalemo Taulamago, one of the longest serving catechists with the Catholic Church in the territory, who passed away peacefully early yesterday morning at the LBJ hospital, with his wife of 57 years, Salota Wilson Tupuana’i-Taulamago at his bedside.
He was 84 years old at the time of his death. “Asalemo was one of the pillars in the Catholic Diocese Church” said Father Viane Etuale. The priest said he remembers when attending the Theological College in Moamoa back in 1982, when church officials announced that Asalemo and his wife would be relocating to the territory and yet they served two villages in Samoa— Samusu Aleipata and Toamua— prior to moving to American Samoa.
Father Viane also said that once, when he was hospitalized, the one catechist who was always at his bedside praying was Asalemo.“He lives by that example of a faithful, committed cate- chist and as a person....the younger catechists should really learn from this man” he said.
“I went to see him on Ash Wednesday to give him ash and communion, and when I got there he was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him up, but there was a certain sense and he looked so peaceful, it was clear that he was ready and was very happy.
“He lived his life as a catechist to the fullest. He’s a fine example for the new catechists, and he will certainly be sorely missed” said Father Viane.
He added that of Asalemo’s ten children the youngest son is now a priest serving at the Lauli’i and Sa’ilele Parish, and his eldest daughter Imeleta serves with her husband as Catechist with the church in Melbourne, Australia.
“If there were 20 masses a day, Asalemo would attend each and every one, unless he was sick and couldn’t leave the house. That would be the only reason he would not attend. He was very faithful, up until the end. On behalf of the Catholic Diocese, I express deepest condolences to Salota, Father Asalemo Jr , family and friends for their loss”. said Father Viane.
Asalemo was hospitalized since February 4, 2013 suffering from pneumonia, says his daughter Akenese Asalemo.
Asalemo remained in prayer with his closest aides and was at peace before his death said his daughter. Born in Leauva’au Samoa on July 27, 1924 he married his wife Salota on June 28, 1956 and they had 10 children, 15 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The eldest son is Tuala Sefilino. The other children are Imeleta Lemanu, Anitele’a, Filomena Moors, Teofilo, John, Joe, Princess Akenese, Sililo and Father Asalemo.
Tuala told Samoa News that his father’s work will forever remain in the church given his commitment to God’s work. Father Asalemo Jr, the youngest son of the retired catechist, said his father left a legacy which they will follow, given he was a devoted Catholic Catechist.
“He’s a man of many words but to sum it up, he was a devout member of the church who was a strong willed and very humble person and never missed mass, and his commitment and service to the church remain within our hearts.
Upon arriving in the territory in early 1980’s, Asalemo initially served at the Catholic Parish in Vailoa, then relocated to Asili, Pavaia’i and then to Leone. The last village he served was Lepua before retiring as catechist.
A service was held Thursday at the LBJ chapel, where many catechists, priests, family and friends gathered following his passing. Funeral services are pending and will be announced soon.
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