The Malaeola Ta’imua Catholic Youth Team from Auckland, New Zealand
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 10 JULY 2018: More than one thousand Catholic youth of Samoa have pledged their commitment to serving God at the celebration of its Youth Week now on its second day.
On the theme “I Am A Youth For Christ, He Is The Way, The Truth And Life” the celebration kicked off with a long colourful and energetic parade of various groups representing Catholic parishes locally, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tokelau.
Leading the parade were Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga, Bishop Brown and Father Iosefo Timu of New Zealand, and more than 1,000 youth who congregated in front of the Government building to witness the start of the week-long programme.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi welcomed the young people and acknowledging the church’s continuing efforts in developing her youth.
“With many changes coming into the country and influencing Samoan youth, it is vital for church leaders to spearhead such programmes to develop the young people,” said Tuilaepa.
The programme focuses on spiritual guidance, discipline and matters that affect their lives of today’s young people on a daily basis such as the influence of technology.
Tuilaepa acknowledge such gatherings and programmes because it means Government will focus on developing the country while the church focus on the development of the young people.
He pledged $10,000 towards the church youth programme.
The official program started with a Mass at the Mulivai Cathedral in the evening then moved to the Tofāmamao Pastoral Centre, Leauva’a for the whole week’s program will be conducted.
This the fourth year of the Catholic Youth Week Program that started in 2009.
The Catholic Vicar General, Fr. Muao Saena said the idea of bringing the church youth together after every three years, was inspired by the Catholic Youth World Summit in Australia in 2008 where Pope Benedict attended.