College Updates: Festive Season!
Seasonal Greetings your Eminence and fellow AFC Family!
The Festive Season has been eventful as far as celebrations are concerned! Lots of families are enjoying the Christmas celebrations with family members and relatives who are now able to visit after the prolonged border closure.
It's generally quiet at the college except the cacophony sounds from our Brass Band as they warm-up each morning prior to visiting villages and pre-arranged homes. Yesterday, they performed at the St. Joseph's Hall at Matahau, much to the delight of the community. They collected $2,000+ as a gesture of appreciation from the few people who were there.
Form 7 Farewell/Induction
The Form 7 students were hosted to a meal at the College Hall on Tuesday evening by the Administration and Ex-students. This was to mark the end of one chapter of their lives as students of the college, and the beginning of a new one as ex-students! The President of the Ex-students' Associations, Mon. Lutoviko Finau, presented their Certificates. It was evident that a good number of Form 7 students have either traveled overseas or are already engaged in holiday jobs. Nonetheless, the simple ceremony was enjoyed by everyone. Fr. Lutoviko Manu sm from Cawaci, Fiji was present together with the President of the PTA, Mr. Filo 'Akau'ola.
We're indeed grateful to the few teachers who were able to help out with the cleaning and mounting of our sweet potatoes. I'm well aware that they deserve their break but this kind of activities are good for their health and diet! As previously explained, this project will save up on feedings of our sporting teams for next year.
Seen below are teachers Taufa and Siale who both truly deserved a cold beer and a good feed after the heavy sweat-out at the farm. Malo fau e tokoni.
It's such a joy to meet up with ex-students who have moved overseas but are now visiting the college.
Seen above is Kaifa Fatongiatau, a former classmate who now resides in Manurewa, NZ. Seen below is Angina Lapa, an Executive Member from Sydney. Welcome home brothers!
The newest settlement on Tongatapu is 'Atata Si'i, situated along the Hihifo Rd after the village of Masilamea. I was asked by the Hon. Minister Seventeen Toumo'ua to accompany him to the hand-over ceremony of 22 new houses to families from the island of 'Ata'ata whose homes were devastated by the tsunami waves.
One prominent feature during the festive season is the Family reunions organised by family members. For others, it's making the most of the time they have together before they part ways again!
One of my main tasks during family gatherings is to make the Sashimi. This is an art in itself which involves getting the right types of fish plus the wasabe cream and right sauce. The fine slicing of the tuna stake needs an expert hand! Finally, I have to taste the Sashimi first to make sure it has the right blend of everything, almost like tasting the wine!
One of the blessings of being a neighbour to the Carmelite Monastery is that we're being called upon to celebrate Mass there now and then. Mother Teresa and her Nuns were delighted to have Fr. Lutoviko Manu celebrated Mass on Christmas day. We shared some light moments with them after Mass.
Marist confreres gathering
On Wednesday evening the Marist Tonga Sector hosted a social evening for all our confreres who are currently taking a break at home: Fr. Suni Halapio from Wallis & Futuna but who left early in the week, Fr. 'Alatini Kolofo'ou (Brisbane), Fr. Lutoviko Manu (Fiji), Fr. Wesley Manu (PNG), Fr. Patelisio Kiutau (Solomons), Fr. Kolio Misiloi (Vanuatu), Fr. 'Isileli Lino (Vanuatu), Fr. Vaioleti Tu'i'one (Kanosia, PNG), Fr. Tomasi Sili (Bougainville), Fr. Valu Siua (Cawaci), and Pouono Vea (Marist seminarian at PRS).
It was also the occasion to farewell Fr. Sipiliano Faka'osi who will attend renewal courses in France and then to Rome for further formational studies. Fr. Chris Hifo will attend renewal courses in the Phillipines and will leave next week.
The local confreres are being urged to commit faithfully to their respective missions: Fr. Ika Kaihea (Chanel College, Vava'u), Fr. 'Anaua Finau (Kauvai Parish), Fr. Viliami Kiola (Takuilau), Fr. Mikaele Misinale ('Apifo'ou), Fr. Steven Lugabai ('Apifo'ou), Fr. 'Ekuasi Manu (Apifo'ou).
We also had confreres who had visited earlier but have since left to their respective missions: Fr. 'Aisake Vaisima (Fiji), Fr. Tino 'Ulupano (PRS), Fr. Sione Vave (Rome), Fr. 'Aisake Silatolu (Fiji), Fr. Lutoviko 'Olie (Solomons).
Merry Christmas everyone and have a grace-filled New Year 2023!