US Congresswoman Uifa’atali Aumua Amata pays tribute to his Grace Alapati Lui Mata’eliga

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US Congresswoman Uifa’atali Aumua Amata released the following statement celebrating the life of the late Archbishop of Samoa-Apia, His Grace Alapati Lui Mata’eliga.

The Archbishop passed away in Auckland, New Zealand early Monday morning.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga of Samoa, and it was a blessing to see him and spend time with him here in American Samoa at Bishop Kolio Etuale’s recent ordination.

All Samoans, regardless of denomination, know Archbishop Alapati as a man of devout faith in God and unflinching loyalty to the thousands of Catholics under his care.

The late Pope Saint John Paul II appointed Archbishop Alapati to succeed Cardinal Pio Taofinu’u, a legendary figure who became the first Catholic Cardinal from Polynesia.

For 20 years, Archbishop Alapati led the Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia through natural disasters, profound changes, and political crises while staying true to his message of peace for his beloved Samoa.

The people of American Samoa mourn with the people of Samoa, and I am praying for the late Archbishop’s family.”