Diocese prepares for ordination of new bishop

Seven-year-old Keroma Taase of Pagai and Aoa is one of the youngest performers who will take center stage next Thursday, August 22 at Fatuoaiga during the entertainment portion of the episcopal ordination and installation of bishop-elect Peter Hugh Brown. Catholic churches across the territory are preparing siva and pese numbers that will be performed during next week's event. Dancing next to little Keroma is Tracey Leapai of Laulii. [photo: B. Chen]

Catholic churches across the territory are busy preparing siva and pese performances for the episcopal ordination and installation of their second bishop, Father Peter Hugh Brown, scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. next Thursday, August 22 at the Holy Family Cathedral in Fatuoaiga.
Father Brown arrived in the territory last Wednesday morning and was greeted by an entourage led by Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Chairman of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago Faiivae Iuli Godinet, the two vicar generals Fr. Kelemete Puaauli and Fr. Viane Etuale, three local priests and catechists, and Deacon Malaki Timu.
The group held a special welcome luncheon at the Equator Restaurant for the appointed new leader of the local Catholic faith which is estimated to have a membership of 14,000.
His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Peter Brown as bishop-elect of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago on May 10, 2013.
Father Brown, who has been a priest for over three decades, replaces Bishop Vaopunimatagi John Quinn Weitzel, 85, who announced his retirement earlier this year after serving as leader of the local diocese since 1986.
Both Vaopunimatagi and Fr. Brown have served as priests in Samoa, on the island of Savaii.
Next week’s ordination ceremony will be attended by clergy members from off island, including church officials from the Vatican, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and other islands in the Pacific region. Archbishop Alapati Mata’eliga, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Samoa Apia will deliver the homily.
The event will be aired live on KVZK-TV Channel 2 and V103 WVUV FM beginning at 9 a.m. with commentaries by Monsignor Etuale Lealofi and Director of the Office of Public Information Fagafaga Langkilde.
Bishop Brown will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, August 25 at 4 p.m. at Fatuoaiga.
The Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago includes 18 Catholic parishes, 21 ordained priests, and 31 deacons.
Below, church members representing the Catholic parishes of Laulii, Sailele and Alao have been busy everyday since last week, practicing their songs and dances that will be performed during bishop-elect Peter Brown's ordination as the second bishop of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago on August 22. Next week's event will be attended by off island members of the clergy, the Vatican, and church officials from around the Pacific region.
Pictured front and center is former NFL player Falaniko Noga of the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.

[photo by B. Chen]


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