For the first time in the history of Pacific Regional Seminary, a current seminarian died while part of the student body. Apisai Tovata, a year 6 student from the Archdiocese of Suva, collapsed while working the garden on Saturday morning 15th October. He was rushed to hospital with pains in his chest. Just as he arrived in emergency he suffered a major heart attack from which he was revived by the specialist doctors on hand in Accident and Emergency at CWM hospital. The doctors stated that his heart had actually stopped beating for a time then but he revived and seemed to be progressing well for the next two days in Intensive Care. But he then had a further attack on Monday morning and at 1.30pm in the afternoon of Monday 17th October he had a final attack and died. His death was a great shock to the whole PRS community. Apisai was a very good student, an excellent musician (being the best musician in the seminary at the time of his death) and was a natural leader. He had no record of any heart problems and appeared to be a strong and fit student who did regular exercise as he had been used to do in his time in the army.
Apisai front left with subgroup one week before he died.
The funeral was set down for the Cathedral on Saturday 22nd October but we were able to have a vigil mass in the PRS chapel on the Friday evening which was our time for special farewell to well-loved and much respected brother. Vice Rector, Fr Edmond Ludwick led the vigil mass and the rector presided at the funeral mass in the Cathedral with the Vicar General, Fr Sulio Turagakacivi did the final farewell and presided at the burial.
May he rest in peace?
2Fr Edmond Incensing at Vigil Mass
3Closing the coffin at PRS Chapel
4Entering the Cathedral
5Final Resting Place
Pacific Regional Seminary has been offering training for the Roman Catholic priesthood for the various dioceses in the Pacific and for religious congregations with houses affiliated to the seminary since 1972.
During this year, 1973, we are celebrating our 40 years at the present site at Nasese, Suva Point. The celebration is centred on the last weekend of August, 23rd to 25th August with three day of presentations on the documents of Vatican II as they relate to seminary formation and to priestly life. All former students and faculty are invited to join in the celebration either by coming in person or joining in spirit from the different parts of the world. The same invitation is expressed to former staff members.
If you are coming, please notify us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , if possible by early July. [Alternatively by mail which can be sent to Private Mail Bag, 79, Suva, Fiji]