A HISTORICAL event will unfold for the Catholic Church in Fiji and Rotuma as their first ever Archbishop the late Petero Mataca is laid to rest under the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.
Archbishop Mataca will be the first ever Fijian Archbishop to be buried at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong announced yesterday.
"He will be entombed in what we are now calling a new bishop's tomb which is a room — an extension under the Sacred Heart Cathedral," Archbishop Loy Chong said.
"In doing that we are giving him the great honour that is given to archbishops and that is to have them be buried in the cathedral.
"We are continuing a long tradition which goes back to early Christianity and that is to bury archbishops under the cathedral that they serve in."
Archbishop Loy Chong said the archdiocese of Suva would celebrate the life of Archbishop Mataca at the vigil mass next Thursday at 6pm and the resurrection mass on Friday 10am at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
"After the vigil family, friends and the general public have the opportunity to pray and pay their last respect for the late archbishop. We will have the vigil mass and we would like people to celebrate the archbishop's life by sharing stories, the reflections and memories of him and this will be for the whole night.
"For us this is a historical moment where we move from the archbishop's tomb in Cawaci, Ovalau and to Suva basically for convenience because out there it is isolated and it's hard for friends and relatives to visit the tomb.
The reguregu begins on Tuesday at 2pm at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Lami.