11 Jul 2014

Late Fiji bishop's nephew pays tribute

2:27 pm on 11 July 2014

A Catholic priest in Fiji bearing the name of his late uncle, Bishop Petero Mataca, says the long-serving bishop was always understanding and a great listener.

Father Petero Mataca is the parish priest of the Navunibitu Catholic Mission in the province of Ra, where the historic 'Church of the Black Christ' has a 1960s mural featuring a young Petero Mataca before he became archbishop.

The bishop was the country's first i-Taukei bishop and led the Catholic church for 38 years before retiring last year.

He died in Suva last week after a long battle with cancer.

Father Petero Mataca says his uncle's best quality was being a good listener.

"A very humble leader and very understanding. You know some of our priests they go through hard times, they have difficulties in their calling. But he was always there for them. He had that quality of listening, he was a good listener."

The nephew and namesake of the late Fiji Bishop, Petero Mataca.