by MARK RICHARDS
Sunday, July 1 was a wonderful day of faith, celebration and joy in the Catholic Parish of Hastings / Te Pārihi Katorika ki Heretaunga. Tevita Fakaosi was ordained to the permanent diaconate at a Sunday Mass in the Church of St Peter Chanel.

Deacon Fakaosi was surrounded by all his family, the Pasifika community of Hastings,
including his own Tongan community, and members of the wider parish and its schools.

Bishop Charles Drennan, the ordaining bishop, was joined by Bishop Peter Cullinane who had initiated Deacon Fakaosi’s journey to the diaconate, together with many priests, including a Marist cousin of the new deacon who had come from Samoa.

The multicultural aspects of the liturgy reflected the community of Hastings. Boys from
St John’s College processed the Gospel to the lectern, the altar was clothed in tapa, the uplifting hymns used many languages and the clergy all were bedecked with lei. But most impressive was the feeling of unity and joy among all gathered; a sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Drawing on the Gospel reading of the day, of the woman suffering from a haemorrhage,
Bishop Drennan noted in his homily that: “Jesus sought her out, dissolved her fear and trembling with the intimacy of compassion, and addressed her as ‘daughter’”.

Bishop Drennan went on to say: “What a magnificent insight into diaconal service is that woman’s encounter with Jesus.”

The day was completed with a great gathering in which the whole community joined in
food, song and friendship.

Bishop Charles thanked Ave, Deacon Fakaosi’s wife, and their family for supporting Tevita
in his generous response to God’s call to be a man of a sacred service to the people of the
Hawkes Bay.

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