Fr John Rovers and Fr Damian Marinus celebrated their 6oth anniversary of ordination
Fr. John Rovers and Fr. Damian Marinus (Photo: SSC picpus)
On 24 August, the Catholic church in the Cook Islands honored two missionary priests and their 120 years of service.
Fr. John Rovers and Fr. Damian Marinus celebrated their 6oth anniversary of ordination. The entire Catholic Community of Rarotonga gathered at St. Joseph’s Cathedral for the event. A celebration followed at St. Joseph Elementary School grounds.
On the actual day of the Jubilee, August 29, they flew to the Island of Ma’uke and celebrated there with the two parishes on the island.
Fr. John was born in Made in Drimmelen (South Holland) on 1st January, 1928. As a young adult, he entered the religious community of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and was officially accepted as a member on 24th September, 1949. He continued his studies for the priesthood and was ordained on the 29th August 1954.
Fr. Damian was born in Tilburg, Netherlands on 13th July, 1929. He joined the religious community, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary as a young man and was formally accepted as a member on 24th September 1949 at the age of 20. It was in this community that he continued his studies for the Priesthood and was ordained on 29th August, 1954 at the age of 26 years.
Fr. John and Fr. Damian were assigned to the Cook Islands at the time of their ordination. They arrived in Rarotonga on the Maui Pomare on the 11th November 1957. The two have known each other since school days and are still good friends.
While both come from the south of Holland, other similarities in the two men can also be acknowledged. Both, for example, have learnt the Maori language well, have participated in the administration of the Diocese of Rarotonga, and have worked on the islands of Atiu, Mauke and Rarotonga. Both also have the ability to encourage Cook Islanders to take responsibility for their church.
Source: CathNews New Zealand
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