As we build up to the Columbans celebrating 70 years in Fiji next month, today we share with you one of the many parishes these faithful missionaries served in, Tamavua parish.
In the article below, read Fr. John McEvoy's brief article as to Why was Tamavua Parish named after St Joseph the Worker?
Recently, I was invited to give a talk to the parishioners of Tamavua Parish before the closing of the ‘Year of St Joseph’ on the 8th December 2021.
I understood that I was to talk about the starting of the parish, the building of the Church and my memories of the time I was in the parish during the middle and the late 70s. This I did and found it very exciting going back down memory lane during these years.
I found out later what the people wanted to know was why the parish was named ‘St Joseph the Worker’ – but this I did not know then.
Here is a story that may help. The Columbans after starting St Agnes’ parish also founded Nausori Parish. Nausori Parish was called St Joseph the Worker. Even the old bell (still there) is called St Joseph’s. Moreover, the big school in the parish is called St Joseph the Worker Primary School, Naulu.
When the Columbans left Nausori and handed it over to the Vincentians – they changed the name of the Parish in Nausori to St Vincent de Paul Parish. The Columbans went on to establish Tamavua Parish and called the New Parish St Joseph the Worker, Parish Tamavua.
I was told this story recently. It may or may not be true, but one thing is certain that the Parish in Nausori was called St Joseph the Worker Parish.
I rest my case.
Fr. John McEvoy