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Young Cook Islands Catholics receive ‘Sacrament of Love’

Friday 16 June 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Young Cook Islands Catholics receive  ‘Sacrament of Love’
The Mauke Catholic Parish children received their Sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday. Front Row Left: Alexander Oaariki, Francis Akamoeau, Angelo Tararo, Cadence Toroma, Austusia Clodya Tamaka, Sebastian Oti. Middle Row Left: Maxcellius Akerongo Teatai, Agnes Aunei, Father Alvin, Tuakana Moetaua. Back Row Left: George Samuela, Kupatoa Moetaua, Joe Moetaua, Ngametua Samuela, Matthew Tararo. AUNTY NAN/23061401

Catholic candidates across the nation received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist – the first time when parishioners part take in the eating of consecrated bread and drinking of consecrated wine or Holy Communion – last Sunday.

In Rarotonga, 45 young Catholics from Sacred Heart Parish/Matavera, 14 from St Mary’s Parish/Arorangi and 19 from St Joseph’s Cathedral in Avarua took part.

A great deal goes into preparing a person to receive Jesus Christ for their first Holy Communion. Over the past two months

 the Sacred Heart Parish’s Father Freddy Kaina and tutor Tatari Mitchell Ngatoko have been teaching and preparing 12 candidates.

First Holy Communion is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church: a) Baptism, b) Reconciliation, c) First Holy Communion, d) Confirmation, e) Matrimony, f) Holy Orders and f) Anointing of the Sick.

Father Freddy said: “Like the other sacraments, First Holy Communion makes visible God’s invisible love truly present in our lives.”

“Through receiving Holy Communion, we are able to touch, taste and truly receive God’s presence into ourselves. Receiving the Lord through the breaking of bread has been at the heart of Christian worship since its earliest beginnings and remains to be the source and summit of Christian worship to this day.

“In our Catholic tradition we fully believe that the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ is fully present in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Body and Blood of Jesus Christ). God is present in all of creation, but especially in the sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion). By receiving the Lord regularly while in a state of grace, we participate in Jesus’ command to ‘Do this in Remembrance of Me’.”

Pope Francis has called it the “Sacrament of Love”.

According to Pope Francis, the First Communion is a celebration that leads worshippers to meet Jesus and to receive Him in their hearts.

Young Francis Akamoeau from Mauke said he was “so happy” to receive his first Holy Communion.

His proud grandmother Tuainekore Akamoeau said: “He keeps reminding me about church and is already looking forward to Sunday mass and to when it’s his turn for alter service. His first communion is a blessing for us… our prayers have been answered.”

Helen Ngere Uka from Matavera said her son Tutai Johan Ioteva “was so excited” on Sunday, “and I’m so proud of him”.

The following candidates received their Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (First Holy Communion) on Sunday 11 June.

From the island of Akatokamanava/Mauke: Alexander Oaariki, Agnes Aunei, Angelo Tararo, Austusia Clodya Tamaka, Cadence Toroma, Francis Akamoeau, Maxcellius Akerongo Teatai and Sebastian Oti

The Sacred Heart Parish in Rangiatea/Matavera: Heimata Teresa Akaroa, Anne-Marie Elisa, David Edward, Tutai Johan Ioteva, Kharell Matthew Teao Jenner, Kyron Paul Teao Jenner, Lyeoh John Teao Jenner, Talisa Moetaua, Ngatokorua Jacob Tataio, Tamatoa Lucas Tini, Terryna Emmanuela, Jespina Van eijk.

The St Joseph’s Cathedral in Avarua: Arikamei Akamoeau, Arthur Nicholas, Beniamina Tuteru, Denzel O Tkv Marama Tupa Nicholas, Elizabeth Raday, George Tanu, Hinamoana Olah, Joelyn Javielca Theresa Hill, John Maikanati Saunivalu, Jonah Akava Akaruru, Josephine Tuteru, Karl Tokorua Igaua, Max Michael Fonorito, Patrick Patresio, Peirangi Louma Ponia, Primose Kattrice Tealeen Savage, Princess Yvonne Manayan, Randolph Mataiapo George, Teberina Ioteba