New Catholic "spiritual centre" at Logo-i-Pulotu
The Catholic church in Samoa celebrated a milestone on Friday when hundreds of members joined the leadership of the church, in Savai'i to officially bless and open the new church at Logo-i-Pulotu.
The opening of the multi-million tala church opens a new chapter for the Catholic faith in Savai'i.
The church is now the "spiritual center" of the Catholic Church in Savai'i and will host any events by the church in Savai'i.
Samoa's Archbishop, Alapati Lui Mataeliga, and leaders of the church assembled at Logo-i-Pulotu to witness the auspicious occasion.
The church is located where the Logo-i-Pulotu College was; situated southeast of Vaiola College.
The Deputy Archbishop of the Catholic church in Savai'i, Pio Galumalemana said the idea to renovate and build a proper church at Logo-i-Pulotu was initiated by the Archbishop.
"As you know, this is where the Logo-i-Pulotu was located," he told the Samoa Observer.
"But the college got shut down and so the leaders of our church started thinking of ways so we can make good use of this land which belongs to our church.
"As you know, this is the centre of Catholicism in Savai'i. We had a synod here one time and it was held here.
"Ten years ago, the former students of Logo-i-Pulotu decided to start raising funds for different projects so we can make good use of this land.
"So they decided to have a place similar to Mapu-i-Fagalele in Upolu for our elders. As you know when you reach that age, you need to be in a peaceful place and all you do is to enjoy your time spiritually.
"The idea is to not chase away our elders but to have a place for them to peacefully enjoy their time alone and connect with the Lord and Faith.
"Thankfully, the Mapu-i-Pulotu project is nearing completion.
"So we had an old church building located right where the new church is, but it was not in a good condition.
"So the Archbishop asked us to renovate the church building and we started raising funds for it and it was not a cheap project."
Father Pio Galumalemana could not reveal the total cost of the project but said it cost more than a million tala.
"We have not paid off the loan we made to help with the renovation and the renewal of the church building but close to $200,000 was donated today and will go into paying for the loan for the project."
On Saturday, the Catholic church held a special service to ordain new deacons at Pulotu and they will host the service for confirmation day on Sunday.