A young woman who claims to be carrying the marks of Jesus Christ’s suffering has converted to the Catholic Church.
Toaipuapuaga Oeti Patrick, who is the daughter of a Minister of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S), formalised her conversion by renewing her wedding vows to her husband, Patrick Ah Chong, in the Catholic Church.
The ceremony was held last week, conducted by Father Takito Fidow.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday at Si’ufaga, Falelatai, Toa said converting to the Catholic faith is the only way she can continue her mission from God.
“I am a messenger and I want to continue the work that I have been sent to do,” she said.
Asked about claims from unbelievers she has lost her marbles, Toa said she is not worried about them.
“I know the majority of the people misunderstand almost everything I say, they twist it,” she said. “But being chosen by God as a messenger is something I did not ask for. He chooses whoever he wants as a messenger.”
And Toa knows she is running out of time. She said she could not wait for the leadership of the C.C.C.S to make up their minds about accepting her and most importantly the messages she was “receiving from God.”
“We don’t have that much time to prepare and get things done because God gave us this mission to complete right on time,” she said.
“So we don’t want to just sit around and wait for everyone to agree. We wanted to continue our mission and I feel this is the only way.”
Toa said one of her desires is to travel to Rome. Becoming a member of the Catholic Church is a step closer towards fulfilling that wish.
She added that while she continues to be fully supportive of her parents' work as Church Ministers of the C.C.C.S, some recent developments have left her with no choice but to become a Catholic.
“The elders of the church (C.C.C.S) are trying to stop us from spreading the messages and my father was instructed to distant himself from what’s going on with me,” she said.
“He was told to remove the statues from inside the church.”
Toa said she feels sad about this.
“God didn’t say which religion is true and which is not, there is only one Church before God and that involves people who believe in him.”
Toa said although it was a challenging decision, she believes it is the right one.
“It’s not doing what makes you happy but it’s about doing what you are called to do.”
From June to 28 August this year, Toa has written 41 messages in the Hebrew language. She said the messages of peace are not just for Samoa but for the whole world.
“I was also told that more messages are waiting for me there (Rome), and all these messages will be publicized on the 18th December 2016.”
Asked about her plans to travel to Rome, Toa said they are waiting for the translations from the Jewish Community in New Zealand and for the Prime Minister’s approval.
“We don’t have much time, my mission is to be in Rome by the second week of October and my father should accompany me to Rome,” she said.
Many of the messages, she said, are for priests and members of the clergy.
She said they have also received translations from the Malua Theological College about some of the messages but at this stage she can’t reveal their meaning.
Toa recalled another vision where she was told not to remove the statues from the Divine Mercy in their C.C.C.S church.
“I was told that the minute they remove that statue, the Church floor will crack, and something will happen to the church.”
She said her father had received instructions from the C.C.C.S to remove them.
“On that Sunday during that meeting, we saw a crack on the floor something that was never there before.”
Since then, Toa said the congregation has decided to keep the statues.
Toa’s husband, Patrick Ah Chong, is fully supportive of his wife.
It was not possible to get a comment from neither the C.C.C.S nor the Catholic Church yesterday.
Back in April this year, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Samoa, Alapati Lui Mataeliga, cautioned Samoans against drawing conclusions in Toa’s case.
“We know from the history of the church that its normally Catholics who have this,” Archbishop Mataeliga said then.
“Personally, to have something like this happen to a young Samoan lady whose parents belong to the E.F.K.S, to me that is a blessing. It tells us that God doesn’t differentiate between people. He is a God for everyone and he chooses whoever he wants to use to send us a message.”
And God often chooses the lowly, the weak and humble, he said.
“If you observe this young lady carefully, she is very humble. She is someone who carries herself with so much humility.”
Archbishop Mataeliga added that such cases are not new in the Catholic Church. And with Toa being a member of the E.F.K.S, the Catholic Church had only become involved to offer support.
Asked about people criticizing Toa, the Archbishop said this is disappointing.
“People are free choose but I think it’s important to take our time, hear her out and not be quick to judge her.
“So even in the Catholic Church, we are not rushing into anything… I’ve spoken with her father and he said they are waiting for their Annual General meeting … and so we’re happy to offer prayers and wait. Let’s try and work out what God is telling us.
“I’m not pointing the finger at anybody in particular but to me the miracle in all this is a man’s heart, whether they receive it or reject it. If we receive it, there must be a change in our lives. So it’s not about pointing the finger and judging, it’s about hearing out what the message really is for us.”