Blessing of St. Paul’s Chapel – Nikumaroro, Wagina.
More than 1000 people came together on Sunday 24th January, 2010 at Nikumaroro village of the Sacred Heart Parish, Wagina Island, to witness the Blessing of their new Chapel. Bishop of Gizo – Most Rev Luciano Capelli sdb consecrated the newly built Chapel. Concelebrating the Holy Eucharist were Fr. Albert Kalu, the Parish Priest and Frs. Jeffery Puritau, John Tiroko and Lawrence Kimaere. Also present at the celebration were United Church & SDA ministers and their people of Wagina as well as Italian volunteer friends of our Bishop of Gizo.
Nikumaroro Catholic Community chose the feast of the conversation of St. Paul – 25th January to be the Patron Saint feast of their new Church.
Bishop Capelli in his homily, called on the Catholic families and community of Nikumaroro to follow the example of St. Paul who was a great persecutor of Christians but through the word of God he was called and became the great model of change - a total conversion of heart to a new person. He encouraged the community to seek the healing power of God as a community in prayer in their new Chapel. The new chapel should be the centre of your community unity in prayer and work.
Speaking on behalf of Nikumaroro Catholic Community, Mr. John Teruka, highlighted his community’s journey of faith in materializing their dream of a place of worship together.
In the past with their small number, Catholic families of Nikumaroro celebrate Sunday Masses and Church events in one of their members’ homes. As years gone by members gradually increased and the need to have a Church building becomes urgent.
It was in 2007, with the strong initiative of the landlord Mr. Barieti Koata and the support of his family and Catholic Community of Nikumaroro and Wagina Catholic Parishioners the building construction begun. The builder the late Mr. Maio Tebuaita, a renowned builder with a kind heart took the lead in constructing the Church building with the assistance of fellow Church members. In early November 2009, Mr. Maio Tebuaita was called to rest, leaving the work he committed to complete to the hands of his son-in-law who took over the task as chief builder and tirelessly worked hard to its completion.
Challenges & Successes:
The mentality of each member challenged them to foresee, whether they will be able to complete the Church building before they begin. Considering the access to building materials, workers and transport greatly challenged them. Even during the progress of construction work, problems of weather, shortage of manpower,damaging work of white ants and being distant from much need materials and resources continued to be experienced.
Despite of the many challenges, the Community never gives up and with the support rendered by the different communities of Wagina and relatives in Honiara, the Church Building was completed. Many people gave their time voluntarily and through prayers and moral support the work progress well to its completion.
Mr. John B Teruka, on behalf of the community thank the Most Rev. Luciano Capelli sdb of the Diocese of Gizo, Priests & Religious, United Church & SDA ministers and their people and the Parishioners of Wagina Parish for the support and part of the celebration.
The occasion marks one of the most important achievements of the Catholic Church members of Nikumaroro village – consecration of their new Church building.
Your presence has made this occasion truly a remarkable event that signify a new beginning for the Catholic members of Nikumaroro community. You have brought smiles, happiness, humility and faith to our home.
Special thanks to Mr. Barieti Koata & Family who are the source of this journey of faith building.
Mr . Ken & family of Auspac, Honiara for their great generous support through finance, provision of food and materials and other kind assistance. Frs. Stephen Kamoa OP, Jeffery Puritau & Albert Kalu for words of encouragements, prayers and moral support to see the completion of the church building over the years and finally to the good people of Sacred Heart Parish, Wagina for the support and hard work that was witness today.
The day ended with feasting, speeches, entertainments and cutting of the celebrations cake in honor of St. Paul the Patron saint of the Community Chapel.