OCEANIA/SOLOMONS - Catholics in Solomons mourn Father Michael Aike, Solomon Islands first Catholic priest

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Honiara (Fides Service) - The Catholic community in Solomon islands is mourning the passing of Father Michael Aike, Solomon Islands first Catholic priest. Fr Michael died on 14 March after a long illness. “As the senior Catholic Diocesan Priest he is greatly missed” his fellow priests say.
He was ordained in December 1966 at Holy Cross Cathedral by the then Bishop of Honiara, the Late Archbishop Daniel Stuyvenberg sm. He was born in Marau and later returned with his family to Rohinari. He was around 33 years of age at the time of his ordination to the priesthood. Late Fr. Michael Aike served both in what is now the Archdiocese of Honiara and the Diocese of Auki. He spent many years in service in Makira at Wainoni Bay and Manivovo. When the new Diocese of Auki was created, Fr. Michael eventually return to Malaita. He served Bishop Gerard Loft SM as his Vicar General. Fr. Michael served also on Guadalcanal both in Makaruka and Avuavu. He was a book lover and kept himself well informed. As the senior Catholic Diocesan Priest he is greatly missed. Fr. Michael has had a long illness and accepted his illness with great resignation and dignity. It is sad that he did not live to celebrate forty years of priesthood in December 2006. The Diocesan Clergy of the Catholic Church in Solomon Islands are challenged by Fr. Michael's faithful years of service of God and God's people whom Fr. Michael loved very much.
Seminarians in Solomons remember his words: “Every vocation demands effort, love, passion and courage”. (Agenzia Fides 15/03/2006 Righe: 22 Parole: 231)