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By Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer June 29) - The Catholic Archdiocese in Samoa is for the first time hosting a retreat for Catholic Priests in the central Pacific region.

Close to 100 priests from Tonga, Fiji, Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau, American Samoa and Samoa are attending.

Held at the Catholic center Tofamamao in Leauvaa, the retreat started last Sunday in a mass led by Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga of the Archdiocese of Samoa Apia.

The church’s head of information, Afamasaga Tovaega, said the retreat is an opportunity for the priests to pray together and discuss ways to upgrade the church and the lives of people through their service to God. It is also an opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness and to renew the lives of all priests in the Central Pacific region.

During the mass on Sunday, Afamasaga said that Alapati Mataeliga again apologized to all members of the church for what is being reported about one priest who was serving in Samoa.

The weeklong retreat is being attended by Archbishop Petero Mataca of the Archdiocese of Suva, Fiji.

Archbishop Petero yesterday conducted the midday mass before the participants took time out for the lunch and afternoon break.

Retreats for different Pacific regions were endorsed by the Catholic Church’s conference for bishops and diocese in the Pacific.

July 7, 2004

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