Greetings your Eminence and fellow Marist Family!
After Mass this morning, I visited the family at Sopu and had a chance to get updated on the progress of the preparations for the funeral of the late Fr. Seluini Akau'ola sm.
a) We may be in luck as Perth is still COVID-free. Hence, the focus now is arranging a direct flight from there to Auckland en route to Fua'amotu. It's envisaged that the flight will arrive next Wednesday. From the airport, the hearse will travel directly to the mortuary where it will remain until Monday morning, 13th of December. Even the 3-day quarantine will be completed on Saturday morning.
b) On the same evening, a Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael, Sopu thus signaling the commencement of the 'Hufaki & Failotu'. After discussing with Fr. Loni Mafi, the Eucharists will be celebrated in the evenings before the failotu's. A few Priests will be asked to preside at the Eucharist from Wednesday to Saturday.
c) Sunday will be left free for everyone to focus on their Sunday Mass.
d) On Monday morning 13th of December, the body of the late Fr. Seluini will be taken to the family home at Sopu for a final two-hour visit. Then from there, he will be brought straight to the Basilica for the Requiem Mass.
NB: Please note that everything such as Failotu, Ngaahi Holo/Hala fakafamili, Palokia, etc. will be done at the St. Michael Church property at Sopu.
1. As we speak, the Marist Community & Marist Rugby Club are digging the graveyard at Telekava, in accordance with the expressed wish of Fr. Seluini to be buried alongside his Dad.
2. The combined choir of St. Anthony of Padua will lead the liturgy for the burial Mass.
3. Singing in the Masses at St. Michael will be taken care of by their own choir.
4. The Apifo'ou Brassband will lead the procession from the Basilica to Telekava.
5. The Apifo'ou staff and students will form the Guard of Honour from the Basilica to Telekava.
Please feel free to ask if anything is not clear. Meanwhile, I humbly request that we keep up the prayers as there are still obstacles to overcome in the efforts to bring Fr. Seluini's body to Tonga. The new virus variant has reached Australia and it seems to be more infectious so anything can happen between now and next Wednesday.
Please remember Filokalafi as he goes into surgery today.
Fakamonu'ia atu ai pe 'etau fai fononga he Taimi 'Atevetu ni.