Lenten homage your Eminence and fellow Apifo'ou Family! As we approach the commencement of the Holy Week we're being reminded on the Pope's theme for this season which highlights the vitality of our "Lenten penance" as "commitment, sustained by grace, to overcoming our lack of faith and our resistance to following Jesus on the way of the cross."
This has been a hectic week as far as the school's programs are concerned. Even though the primary focus was on our exams, we had a very significant event this week which was the Opening and Re-consecration of the Chapel at the St. Mary's campus. The Blessing and the Eucharist was led by His Eminence, Cardinal Paini Mafi, who is a cousin of the deceased benefactor of this project, Mrs. Makasini Paini 'Otuhiva. The Chapel is now named 'Our Lady of Sorrows'. This was to honor a request from the family of the late Mrs. 'Otuhiva, an ex-student of 'Apifo'ou. The family traveled from the United States to be part of this momentous occasion.
Due to the exams' timetable, the Levels 1 - 3 shouldered all the responsibilities for the event. They led the Eucharistic liturgy, catered for the guests, and provided the entertainment, much to the delight of His Eminence, the 'Otuhiva family and the rest of the distinguished guests.
As a token of our appreciation to the widower James 'Otuhiva and family, we presented framed photos of the family during the occasion.
His Eminence greeted James Raass and the family plus former Cabinet Minister and ex-student, Mrs. 'Alisi Taumoepeau.
The students sat their first Assessment this week and will continue next week. The students have been urged to focus on their exams despite the many activities going on at the college. There's so much joy and relief for the Level 5 students and teachers as their remaining three classrooms with damaged ceilings have been fixed by our 'Good Samaritan', Ms. 'Isitokia Paasi.
The Athletic Squad has picked up momentum in their training since marching into camp. The Head Coach Taholo 'Anitoni and his Team are doing a wonderful job in training the athletes early mornings at 5 am. The job of the Principal is to conduct a 30-minute Zumba sessions each day!
We're indeed grateful to the parents of the athletes who have gone out of their way to feed the Squad. So far, no Ex-students groups have come on board to help with the feeding of the athletes. Hence, we're renewing our humble request to the ex-students, both local and abroad, we really need your help.
The athletes are blessed as they are surrounded by the Saints while they train!
The Eucharist is a core component of the camp. The athletes and the coaches are reminded to keep God and Mary close to their hearts and minds as they train.
This week the parents of the athletes from Longoteme and Matahau fed the Squad from their own resources. Malo fau e 'ofa mo e tokoni.
The college was very fortunate this week that a team of Chiropractic doctor and students arrived from San Francisco to conduct sessions in Tonga. Our athletes were the lucky ones as they were treated by the Team. Some of the teachers also took advantage of the opportunity.
Rugby Jerseys from St. Bede's
Two sets of rugby jerseys were presented to the college as gifts from our Sister School, St. Bede's College in Christchurch. Mr. Sakopo Lolohea did the honor of presenting the items to the AFC Principal and some of our rugby boys. We're truly grateful to the Principal of St Bede's, Mr. McDowall, for this wonderful gift.
Our Ms Good Samaritan!
The college had the opportunity to host 'Isitokia Paasi and her carpentry crew for lunch at the school's Hall today to say 'thank you'. Unfortunately, the whole school wasn't present due to exam commitments and other extra-curricular activities.
The St. Mary's staff and the Level 5 at St. John's were the fortunate recipients. 'Isitokia built a new Convenient room for the St. Mary's staff plus the ceilings of the corridors. She also completed the three classrooms in the St. John's block that have had damaged ceilings. We'll be forever grateful to 'Isitokia for this generous help. This is indeed a milestone as she came on her own, funded and completed the work. Usually, the ex-students contribute by sending the necessary funds. Malo fau e 'ofa!
Seen here is 'Isitokia inspecting the work to make sure that it's done properly!
Small but significant as the level 5 staff and students hosted 'Isitokia and the workers to a shared lunch.
Moce mada vakalailai Faca Tomasi
This week the Lalo Kasia Club hosted Fr. Tomasi Sili sm to a BBQ, a gesture of gratitude for his contributions to the college during his holiday period. All our Marist confreres were there plus the Club members. I took the liberty of briefing Tomasi on his new appointment!
Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to you all for your continuous support and prayers for our beloved school.
May the good Lord and our Blessed Mother keep us close to their hearts as we approach the Holy Week.
May I echo once again our humble request for support for our Athletic Squad.