Tributes and prayers have been shared for two very popular Pacific Islander chaplains who have passed away.
Samoan chaplain Fr Paulino Tui Kolo, 67, and former Tongan chaplain Fr Penisimani Folaumoetu’I, 79, were known to many across the Archdiocese of Sydney for their kind and caring ministry and dedication to their parishioners.
Touching the lives of many, social media was inundated following the news of their passing with hundreds of people posting messages praising both priests and their impact on many communities both here and abroad.
Fr Paulino was born in Safotu, Samoa in 1954 before entering the Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon in the US, and ordained to the priesthood in 1990 at St Michael the Archangel church, Leauva’a, Samoa, by His Eminence Pio Cardinal Taofinu’u SM.
He arrived in Sydney in 2003 and worked as Chaplain to the Samoan Catholic Community before being appointed Administrator of the parishes of Bondi Beach (2008) and then Sadleir-Miller (2008).
He was incardinated into the Archdiocese in 2017 and continued to serve as Administrator of Sadleir-Miller until 2020, when he was appointed Assistant Priest at both Holsworthy and Moorebank, alongside his ongoing role as Chaplain to the Samoan Community.
Scores of people took to social media to post tributes with one commenting: “You were so very kind, and always had the time for a chat and a blessing. There are not enough words to encapsulate how truly amazing you were. God has a special place for you in heaven”.
Former Tongan chaplain Fr Peni was born on Niuafoʻou, the northern most island of Tonga, in 1942, and entered the St Paul’s Kensington Seminary and ordained to the priesthood in 1978 at St Michael’s, Lapaha, Tonga, by Bishop Patelisio Punou-Ki-Hihifo Finau.
He was appointed Chaplain to the Tongan Catholic Community within the Archdiocese of Sydney in 2002, before going on to serve as Administrator of Cronulla, and later of Holsworthy (2010), followed by Meadowbank Parishes (2011).
He was incardinated into the Archdiocese in 2012, and then made Parish Priest of Meadowbank in 2013, before retiring to lesser duties in 2017.
One parishioner wrote: ‘Prayers assured for a sure and short journey to that heavenly home we all seek … dear Fr rest in peace’.