DIOCESE SYNOD CONCLUDES
The third synod for the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago officially closed Sunday with a special mass held at the Holy Family Cathedral at Fatuoaiga and attended by hundreds of faithful Catholics, members of the clergy, Bishop Peter Hugh Brown, guests from New Zealand and Apia, and Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga of the ArchDiocese of Samoa Apia, who was invited to serve as the main celebrant.
Youth groups performed special songs and Biblical dance numbers for entertainment.
The mass was to commemorate many things, including the 170 years since the arrival of the Catholic Church in all of Samoa, as well as an official ‘welcome back’ for the ‘Brothers’ (felela) who have been absent from the territory for over two decades. (The Brothers were the main educators for the Marist Brothers Elementary School in Atu’u and the Marist Brothers High School in Malaeloa many years ago).
The synod kicked off late last week at Fatuoaiga where more than 200 parishioners representing the 18 local parishes gathered to share ideas, engage in discussions, and vote on recommendations from nine commissions: Education, Youth, Young Couples and Marriage, Situation of Parishes, Diocesan Departments, Diocesan Organizations, Vocations and ongoing Formation, and Catechism and Liturgy .
The recommendations will be used to develop a five-year strategic plan for the local diocese. Final reports will be handed over to Bishop Peter Brown for his review and approval.
BAY AREA CLEAN UP
Employees of the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) led the clean-up efforts last Friday for the area between Fagaalu and the Suigaula ole Atuvasa Beach Park in Utulei.
Off island delegates who were in the territory for the 28th Pacific Islands Environment Conference participated in the event, picking up trash and clearing the roadside as motorists drove by and honked.
AS-EPA director Ameko Pato said the clean-up was carried out per an order from the Region 9 Administrator.
Representatives from different government agencies and departments, including members of the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, as well as Miss American Samoa Anneliese Sword were all on hand to offer assistance.
The event culminated with a special ‘wave’ held in Utulei.
FAIFEAU TOEAINA PASSES AWAY IN SEATTLE
Folasa Titialii, a Faifeau Toeaina (Reverend Elder) for the Congregational Christian Church, passed away peacefully in Seattle, WA this past weekend. He was 92.
Folasa has been an active member of the church for many decades. He and his first wife Avemaoe Suitonu, who preceded him in death, were instrumental in the spiritual growth of Samoan community members in the Emerald City.
In 1964, the First Samoan Christian Congregational Church in southeast Seattle near Brighton was formed and Folasa was chosen to take the lead as pastor. Folasa preached in Samoa and musical selections were also in the Samoan language during church services. Over the years, the congregation grew in numbers.
Folasa and Ave had eight children and after Ave's passing, Folasa remarried.
WOMEN IN SPORTS COMMISSION HAS MANY PLANS FOR NEXT MONTH
During the month of July, the Women in Sports Commission, under the American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC), has a lot on its agenda. Women of all ages are encouraged to use next month as a time to get fit, bond, and start a healthy exercise routine that will lead to a long, healthy life.
A leadership training for female advocates and selected participants is planned, to build leadership skills so participants can become active members of the ASNOC/ASWSC. In addition, the goal is to empower the program participants with skills that are both effective and sensitive to cultural American Samoa.
Other planned activities include hosting sports clinics conducted by local national federations to increase active female participation and also increase the number of females who are qualified and trained to compete locally, nationally, and at the international level.
Clinics are for handball, volleyball, softball, netball, weightlifting, and soccer, all scheduled for July 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 8 a.m. -12noon.
Mothers may register together with their daughters. According to the ASWSC, “Mothers will be able to take part and spend quality time with their daughters. This will hopefully change the mind-set of some mothers that sports are only for males/boys and bring awareness to the many benefits of sports—some of which are: education, teamwork, lifelong healthy habits and exercise.”