by DENIS TUTAKA
De La Salle College in Mangere, Auckland, celebrated the completion of their sacramental programme at an All Saints Day Mass on campus. This Mass also marked the end of the college’s Lasallian Tercentenary year celebration.
There were three catechumens and 12 others who were receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation only, and a Lasallian volunteer from Australia, who was fully received into the Catholic faith.
The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Soane Mafi of Tonga, who reminded the catechumens and the candidates that each of them hold the potential to be saints.
He quoted Michelangelo who said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free” and the quote, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
The cardinal compared this concept to the work of St John Baptist de La Salle, who trained teachers to carve out the potential of each student. He turned his attention to the students and challenged each one to be open to learning new things to be able to discover their true potential. Finally, he challenged the catechumens and the candidates to be firm in the faith.
Today’s culture and way of life can easily draw someone away from the faith and therefore he issued the challenge to use the day’s event as a reminder of the potential of being saints.
The All Saints Mass at the college is an annual event and is one of the biggest celebrations every year. This year, the De La Salle Tongan community assisted in the preparation of this celebration because of Cardinal Mafi.
Food is a huge part of Pasifika celebration and the college ensured that this was arranged after the Mass.
The sacramental programme at the college is specifically aimed at helping parents prepare their sons for the Sacraments of Initiation. However, prior to registering for the programme, they are reminded that their first priority should always be their parish.
The programme takes 14 weeks of instruction and, prior to the completion, students take a trip to the cathedral to introduce them to the mother Church, learn about its history and significance and to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation, before joining in the community Mass there.
The college is fortunate to have Deacon Tang Phan, as he and Campus Minister Tamausu Faalepo Vaotuua have been instrumental in preparing this year’s catechumens and candidates.