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Historic moment for the local Catholic community

Fr Etuale

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Catholic Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago, under the leadership of Bishop Peter Hugh Brown, is preparing this week for the Episcopal Ordination of Reverend Father Kolio Tumanuvao Etuale.

The Mass of Ordination will be held at the Holy Family Cathedral in Fatu-o-Aiga on Nov. 04, and the following day, Nov. 05,  a Thanksgiving Mass will take place at the cathedral.

 Gov. Lemanu P. S Mauga, and Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, are among the VIP officials invited to the ceremony this week. And the public is invited to attend this momentous occasion on Nov. 4 — which is being celebrated on the day of the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, according to a news release from the diocese.

Following the Ordination Mass there will be an Ava ceremony performed by the Village of Fagasa and entertainment from the Catholic schools: Fa’asao Marist High School, Marist St. Francis Elementary, and St. Theresa Elementary.

The Principal Consecrator is Bishop Peter H. Brown, and the Co-Consecrators are the Nuncio Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, apostolic delegate, and Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga of the Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia.

On August 4 — the Feast of St John Vianney — Pope Francis announced on Vatican Radio in Rome the appointment of 49-year-old Father Etuale to be Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese in American Samoa.

“On the retirement of the present bishop, Bishop Peter Brown, Bishop-Elect Kolio Etuale will become bishop of the Diocese," the Diocese said at the time.

Fr Etuale was educated by the Marist Brothers, graduated with a BA in Philosophy and Master of Divinity from Mt Angel Seminary, and was ordained as a priest in American Samoa in May 2003. He is currently completing his Doctorate in Pastoral Ministry.

He is best admired for his many years of service as a Catholic educator and an advocate for youth development. He was appointed the Chancellor of the Diocese in 2021.

The Bishop-Elect is the son of Tumanuvao Etuale Felise of Lotofaga, Samoa, and the late Maniva Palala of Moata'a, Samoa. He was raised in Iliili, American Samoa, by his second parents, Tumanuvao Kelekolio Tumanuvao and Monika Etuale.

He is profoundly gratified and humbled by his appointment and has urged parishioners, families and friends to pray for him as he assumes this new and important role.