Samoa mourns passing of Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga 

Samoans are mourning the passing of Archbishop Mataeliga, Alapati Lui. He was 70 years old.
This was confirmed in a statement released by Bishop Peter Brown this morning. 


With great sadness the Archdiocese Samoa Apia announced the news of the passing of their beloved Archbishop Alapati at 3am in Auckland New Zealand this morning.

“Let us join in prayer and love with our brothers and sisters in Samoa as they morn the loss of their spiritual leader.

“We, the Bishop’s, Priests, Deacons and Catechists and people of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago offer our heartfelt prayers and sympathy to Samoa,” said Bishop Brown. 

Mataeliga was on January 4, 1953 in Sataua, Samoa. He was ordained for the presbyterate of the Diocese of Samoa and Tokelau on July 5, 1977. 

Upon the retirement of Cardinal Pio Taofinu”u, Father Mataeliga was appointed by the Holy See as the second Archbishop of Samoa-Apia on November 16, 2002. 

He was consecrated to the episcopate and installed as ordinary by Archbishop Patrick Coveney, Apostolic Nuncio to Samoa, on January 3, 2003. 

During the time Samoa faced a constitutional crisis, in 2021 the Archbishop denounced caretaker prime minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi for ignoring the courts  rulings and refusing to yield power, saying “enough is enough”. 

In the aftermath of the crisis, when the FAST government was refusing to allow opposition MPs to be sworn into parliament, Alapati performed an ifoga in front of the government executive building in order to seek peace.

Mataeliga was listed as a noteworthy archbishop by Marquis Who’s Who.