Fr. Filipe Seluini 'Akau'ola SM Homebound Journey!
The late Fr. Seluini 'Akau'ola SM received his call to eternal rest on the 29th of November, 2021. A month later, 30th of December, he finally arrived in Tonga. On the same flight from Auckland was the late Lord Ma'afu, a personal friend of Fr. Seluini.
Prior to his arrival all the necessary preparations were done collectively by the family, Marist Family, and the Parish Priest with the parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua at Nuku'alofa.
The escort of the cortege below was led by His Eminence Cardinal Mafi. The late Fr. Seluini was on his way home.
The Marist Rugby Club played prominent roles right from the digging of the grave to the burial. Seen below are some of the senior Marists who were the ball bearers.
Seen above are the Marist Priests receiving their senior confrere for the blessing at the entrance of the Basilica.
His Eminence Cardinal Mafi, as seen above, led the Requiem Mass with the rest of the clergy con-celebrating. He delivered a very profound reflection on the life of the late Fr. Seluini, whom he referred to as a personal and professional companion.
Fr. Seluini's last ride on the Taufa'ahau Road, accompanied by his family and friends.
Once again the Marist rugby players were proud to carry their former coach and mentor from the junction at the Queen Salote College to the Telekava cemetery.
There were a handful of students from our Catholic schools forming the Guard of Honour and journeyed together with Fr. Seluini to his final resting place.
At last the body of the late Fr. Filipe Seluini 'Akau'ola was laid to rest alongside his beloved Dad, Latu 'Akau'ola.
For his mother, 'Ana 'Akau'ola, it has been a long and irritating wait! The smile on her face below is a sign of relief that her motherly duty to her son is finally complete.
For the Marist Family, we're equally relieved that our responsibilities to our senior confrere are fulfilled. The tanoa at home was to mark the completion of our duties.
We had one more duty early this morning. We had to clean around Fr. Seluini's grave and fixed the fence around it. Rest in peace brother, we'll try and emulate your legacy.
May I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Marist Family here at home, in Fiji, Oceania, and beyond, to extend to you all our deepest gratitude for all your prayers and support throughout this month of mourning and waiting.
To His Eminence, Cardinal Mafi, thank you very much for your support during the past weeks. More importantly, thank you for the prayerful and profound messages delivered yesterday at the Requiem Mass.
To the Marist Family at home, Marist Rugby Club, Religious, Third Order of Mary, Kauvai Parish, thank you very much for your fraternal support and cooperation during these past weeks, and especially yesterday at the farewell Mass and rituals.
To the Parish Priest of Nuku'alofa Parish, Fr. Loni Mafi, and your parishioners, thank you very much for your generosity in leading the liturgy and many other contributions.
To the Vicar General, Mon. Fr. Lutoviko Finau, and fellow Diocesan Clergy, a big vinaka vakalevu for your prayerful support.
I pray that the spirit with which the late Fr. Filipe Seluini 'Akau'ola SM exemplarily lived his life and ministry to the full may inspire us all to remain closer to God and Mary.