OCEANIA/FRENCH POLYNESIA - Leeward Islands: the need to encourage vocations in the church

Thursday, 26 October 2023


Bora Bora (Agenzia Fides) – “I am in Bora Bora. About fifteen teenagers and their animators are sleeping in the premises of the Blessed John Paul I, the complex, facilities intended for catechesis and parish activities. (see Fides, 10/9/2022). At dawn they will board the large ferry that passes through the Raromatai and at each stop it picks up young people... about a hundred will arrive in Tahiti, where there will be buses that will take them to the Parish of Aroue, in Papeete, invited for the meeting for the priestly ordination of the young deacon Tareva Taiti”. This is how the missionary Father Sandro Lafranconi writes to Fides Agency, who will meet with the children on Friday, October 27 (see Fides, 25/10/2023).
“At the end of the celebration on Saturday, October 28 –-says Father Lafranconi - I will return to Huahine, one of the four islands where the Parish of the Holy Family is located. There I will sleep for the first time in the new house. I built it because there was only very precarious accommodation and it was necessary for me and Archbishop Jean Pierre Cottanceau, SS.CC., when he comes, or the deacon and his wife to have a decent room. I have already installed the fiber optic connection because I would like to develop a 'virtual' parish with video conferences between the four islands". “I will remain in Huahine until November 1st, when I will celebrate the solemnity of All Saints, before flying back to Bora Bora, where I will also celebrate on the evening of November 1st. Meanwhile, while I take care of the two islands of Huahine and Bora Bora, Deacon Pierre Van Bastolaer (Tahitian) will take care of the other two, Raiatea and Tahaa, so that we can serve all the religious services of All Saints of the four Leeward Islands. Pierre will also be in charge of preparing the young people who will receive Confirmation in Christ the King.”
“I am also preparing the rituals of blessing the tombs for November 1st, a day dedicated to the memory of the deceased - concludes the missionary of the Society of African Missions (SMA). There are no cemeteries in the Raromatai. Here, loved ones are buried in the courtyard of the house. Then, once a year the catechists come by to bless the living and the deceased in the afterlife.” (SL/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 26/10/2023)