Fr Martin Koroiciri after his ordination. Photos: Missionary Society of St Columban
The new Columban century brought us a new Columban priest in Fiji. Deacon Martin Koroiciri was ordained priest at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva by Archbishop Chong on the vigil of St Columbans Day, 2018.
A particularly joyful note for us was the presence of some 80 priests at the ordination. Not only were our Fiji priests in attendance but many were here from Tonga, the two Samoas and even the Cook Islands.
The ordination coincided with a retreat at Pacific Regional Seminary (PRS) for the English speaking priests of CEPAC. CEPAC is the Episcopal Conference that takes in all the islands of the South Pacific from Guam to Tahiti. So the ordination was a real South Pacific celebration and this was reflected in the magnificent music by the Archdiocesan Choir.
The new Columban priest is from a Catholic family that originated in Lakeba, capital of the Lau Group here in Fiji. Martin was born in Suva and his early childhood and teens were spent in the Columban parish of Labasa.
After high school Martin went to work for a computer company.
Ten years ago he joined the Columbans. After a Spiritual Year in Manila, he asked for some time off, to assist his family. He worked as an insurance agent for two years and then re-joined the Columban programme.
His first mission assignment as a seminarian was to various Columban parishes in Chile where he served the people there and improved his Spanish.
Photos: Missionary Society of St Columban
Back in Suva he completed his theology studies and graduated on November 9, 2018 from the Pacific Regional Seminary with a BTheol from the Urbaniana University in Rome to which PRS is affiliated. The Urbaniana is a pontifical university and universally recognized so that Fr Martin can pick up his studies virtually anywhere should he and the Columbans wish.
As in every Columban country, this centenary year has been one of celebration and commitment to mission.
With Fr Martin’s ordination, we have a happy conclusion to our Centenary year and a great opening for our second century.
It is an enormous joy to us to be able to put another lifelong priest missionary in the field.
Fr Martin will minister in Suva for a few months before returning to his mission in Chile mid-year.
We invite you all to support him most especially with your prayers.
Columban Fr Donal McIlraith, Mission Awareness and Education, Fiji.
Listen to "A South Pacific celebration"
- Read more from The Far East, June 2019