Deacon Patrick Joseph Tukidia,

Pastoral Year - New Bedford, MA

I grew up in a family of 7 and I am the 5th child in our family. We grew up in the island of Taveuni in Fiji. My family worked for a religious congregation called the Society of Mary. Growing up in this community helped a lot in my discovering my faith and through the witnessing of the religious priests and brothers there made me question at an early age of the possibility of me becoming a religious and a missionary one day. I come from a devoted Catholic family. I owe a lot to my parents for my faith and especially my vocation. Their example and the love they have shown for us, each other and for the Church (since they worked to help married couples build a fruitful and healthy relationship in their family and have Christ as its center). After finishing my High School in the island, we moved to Suva, the capital of Fiji where I continued my studies for a degree in Information Technology. After completing my studies, I worked for two years, and I applied to join the Society of Mary. After 4 years in their formation, I felt that it was not my call to join their congregation. I left the formation program and worked as a teacher and then I switched to working as an Assistant Information Technology Personal for a company called Damodar Cinemas. During my work I still felt the call to religious life. I prayed hard for the Lord to make my path clearer to me. Through the grace of God, I was able to meet one of the brothers of our Congregation who introduced me to SSCC family. That is how I began my journey as a Sacred Hearts brother.

When did you first think that God might be calling you to be a priest?
I first thought of becoming a priest since I was a child. Growing up with religious brothers and priest inspired me to this call.

Why did you choose the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts?
I chose the Sacred Hearts through my readings of the life of Saint Damien. His example of living and proclaiming God’s love to the sick people made me realize the need of bringing the love and healing of Christ to our wounded world.

Favorite hobbies and/or fun fact about yourself:
I love to sing and compose songs. I have done few recordings of my own songs and have released in the radio back in Fiji.

Favorite Bible passage: Psalm 138

Your favorite saint:
Saint Damien of Molokai
Saint Padre Pio
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus