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Sacred Hearts Welcomes its First Fijian Priest

Patrick Tukidia has become the first iTaukei (native) Fijian to be ordained as a priest in the history of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. His Ordination was held on September 28 at 6:00 PM at Our Lady of Assumption in New Bedford, Massachusetts, it was led by the Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River.

A delegation of Fijians sang Fijian hymns during the Ordination and to emphasize the significance of the event to the Fijian community experiencing the Ordination via a virtual link, the vestments worn during the Ordination were adorned with Fijian motifs and symbols. Sam Tukidia, a Marist priest and blood brother of Patrick, traveled from Fiji to attend his brother's special day and was one of the priests to vest Patrick at his Ordination.

Following the Ordination, light refreshments were provided at the parish hall, with some people partaking in a Kava ceremony led by his cousin, Lui Voreqe, a Sacred Hearts brother. The kava ceremony was the Fiji traditional way to give thanks to all the visitors and the community of the Sacred Hearts.

The next day, on the feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels, the newly ordained, Patrick celebrated his first mass at Our Lady of Assumption. He did so in the company of the parishioners, his family, and friend and the SSCC community, including the Superior General of the Order.

His brother delivered the homily and joked about a "religious family competition" involving which is better, Marist or Sacred Hearts. He reflected, however, that both religious families helped one another in achieving their goals. Patrick concluded his first mass by blessing the people, followed by a reception at the Century House in Fairhaven.

Reverend Patrick will move to Hawaii starting October 19 for his first assignment as a priest at St. Ann's Parish in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

See photos here:

Ordination and Kava Ceremony Photos

Photos at his first mass