Christ the King Parish – Ba – 08th -10th .2022.
Parish Hall. – 7:30pm 8th September.
I left Suva at 2pm and arrived in Ba parish at about 7:15 pm after rushing through from Suva – Sigatoka – Lautoka on mini bus and finally on a taxi from Lautoka to Ba.
This session took place after the 6pm mass and some of the parishners had already left as there was a breakdown in communication with the Caritas Commission rep whom I told that I was already on my way.
Anyway, I am thankful to Fr Pat and the group that waited and the Sevusevu with their hospitality. It was encouraging and laid the platform and atmosphere for our awareness and discussion on the Topic “ How is the Season of Creation and the Preparation of the General Elections connected in relation to the Catholic Social Teachings.
We had good discussions on this topic and there were positive responses from those who were present.
What could have been improved?
- Early departure from Suva
- Communicate directly with the parish priest instead of solely relaying on communication with the Commission head.
What went well?
- The topic was relevant and was well received.
- Created the interest and the awareness those present.
- The reports of our two schools of St Teresa and Xavier college were amazing and well advanced in the practical component of Season of Creation. Their creativity and initiatives of the students, teachers and management are very impressive and we need to support and advocate the changes our young people are leading.
I was also blessed to be able to join the Rotuman Community who were also part of our awareness who stayed up all night to prepare Lovo for the Flood appeal in Pakistan. This was indeed a great gesture of solidarity from the Columban family in Ba to support Fr Pat Visanti.
Session with the Vakavuvuli’s of Ba parish. – 11:30am 9th September.
“Preventing Fires in an Overheated World.”
This topic was recommended by the parish priest as it is one of the biggest threat in the dry western region and also one of the biggest issue of our Climate change and Climate challenge in the world today.
They were catechist from different villages and communities and we were able to discuss measures and ways in which we can put this into practice in their village and communities. We also had a very good theological discussion on this topic which they are going to take back to their communities and villages. There was a request or two for this awareness to be shared to the individual communities and villages.
- Power point presentation to be translated into vernacular.
- Catechist comes from different parts of Ba – Transportation & distance.
- Conduct this awareness with the Vakavuvulis for everyone in their villages.
- Create ecological based projects with communities.
Toge village, Ba. – 7pm –9th September .
How is the Season of Creation and the Preparation of the General Elections connected.
This awareness was conducted at the Vakavuvuli’s house and it took a few moments for us to wait a little bit for villagers to come in as it was on a Friday evening and the people are still preparing their produces for market and the middleman.
Nevertheless, we proceeded with the Sevusevu and started the conversion around this topic. Our session was in a dialogue form to encourage their participation as it is not so easy for villagers to speak up. The topic is well understood and caught the interest of the people because we had lively discussions, questions and answers.
- Timing for session – maybe better if another time schedule
- Not many youths present.
- PP to be in vernacular
- This topic is also good for the young people (youth) to have their own session.
- Initiate community based ecological projects.
Christ the King parish has all the necessary elements and contexts to be one of our main parish of Ecological Conversion in the Archdiocese of Suva and also the world. It is already on the international front and if we support the Young People’s Initiatives for change from our school together with what the parish and the Columbans are doing we can really be fulfilling our Mission. It has the geographical, economical, social, political and spiritual dimensions needed to further develop the promotion of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation in these wonderful land.
What is needed?
- Build good relationship and mutual understanding between JPIC office/team, parish Priest and all that will be engaged.
- There needs to be a JPIC committee and rep under the Caritas Commission which is now our structure in the Archdiocese especially for our Columban parishes.
- The JPIC office with the JPIC committee together with PP have a monthly or quarterly( or whatever time frame is suitable) meeting to address JPIC issues and how we can respond to it practically.
- We need to pay special attention and support Youth Development as they are key to our Vocation and any changes we need to bring to society for Justice and Peace.
This has been my observation after working in this office in this capacity for one year and after visiting all the Columban parishes in Fiji and working with some of its communities and villages. I thank the Columban Mission office – Suva, for the opportunity and the support and also to all the Columban priests, co workers and friends.
Thank You Fr Pat Colgan for the hospitality, advice and encouragement in Ba.
May God bless us all. – Vinaka Vakalevu – Tevita.N. – Coordinator JPIC.