by RITA O’CALLAGHAN
The home of Samoan Catholics in Auckland, Malaeola Centre, celebrated 20 years of community life last month.

Bishop Patrick Dunn, front centre, with priests, clerics and altar servers after the Malaeola Mass.
Bishop Patrick Dunn, front centre, with priests, clerics and altar servers after the Malaeola Mass.

Samoan Catholics in Auckland diocese consist of 25 Samoan communities.
In 1952 the community had only a handful of members. It was formed with the aim of bringing Samoans in Auckland together.
That was a time of major transitions, and the thought of having a club as a home away from home for many of them appealed as a way of finding support and coming together as Samoans in Aotearoa.
Eventually the community outgrew the small parish halls it had been using. So a much bigger space was sought.
It was a battle, but the community raised funds and, with the support of the diocese, was able to buy a piece of land at Mangere.
The community has since established itself at 16 Waiokauri Place at a centre called Malaeola, which simply means “a place of life”.
On August 15, 2015, members celebrated 20 years of God’s faithfulness to themselves, their families and those around them.
The celebration was well attended by more than 1000 people.
A Mass of thanksgiving was offered and was led by the Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Patrick Dunn, with 10 other priests and clerics, including Msgr Lui Tevaga, and the chaplain of Malaeola, Fr Michael Alipia Endemann, and various dignitaries.

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