To His Eminence

A Speech on behalf of St Joseph Parish Youth
Delivered during the Official Reception of His Eminence, Cardinal Paini Mafi at the Catholic Mission, Niue on 23 August 2015

Greetings of love and jubilation to everyone here present especially to you, your Eminence, Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi. It is my hope that you are well and feeling comfortably at home as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the triumphant journey of the Catholic Faith here in Niue.

I am most elated and privileged to be standing here in front of you and the whole of St. Joseph Parish to speak to you on behalf of the “young and delicate” members of this parish. Certainly, everyone here present will agree with me in saying that this task is something one would classify as “quite a tough one” as it entails the responsibility of having a good and cohesive representation. I wish the expression “putting one’s self in the shoes of others” is something tangible and can be done literally as I would gladly do so; however, it is not. Hence, I will just do my best not to misrepresent them, the young and delicate, in this brief disquisition.

It is my wish to let you know that, like everyone else in this parish, the youth members are quite ecstatic and thrilled to have you on this beatific celebration. We are especially delighted to see you because we know that you are young and youthful yourself being the youngest of all Cardinals —certainly an idea that any of the young and delicate in this parish can hold on to as we know perfectly well what this entails, and yes, we know that there is no need to elaborate on this matter. Hence, your coming to this jubilation, your Eminence, is a grace from God and his eternal youthfulness. You bring inspiration especially to us, the “young and delicate.”

There has been a song written from the perspective of the youth. A song that highlights how the youth sees themselves in relation to the world. However, this song also speaks so much truth about our youthfulness and imminent role which serves as a good reminder of how much attention and nurturing we need in order to survive not just the brick walls of the past but also the now unavoidable perils that have been lurking in the dark alleys of our existence, waiting to get a chance at weakening our system and destroy us forever. The song goes…

We are the children of yesterday’s dream
We are the promise of the future we bring
Waving the banner of love to all
To every nation, the rich and the poor

We are a world of the restless and young
And we need a hand to guide us
Helping each other, build each other
As long we’re together you and me.

For together we stand, divided we fall
Together we climb to the top of the world
We can be what we want for the world to see
That we are the children of yesterday’s dream

This song portrays so much of idealism and bravery in our youthfulness. It speaks of our enthusiasm and readiness to do something great. This is our gift to the world, but this gift is not as strong as diamonds and unblemished as pearls. This gift is fragile and can easily be broken. It is therefore our hope that this gift be nurtured and cultivated every single day.

With those few words, your Eminence, again thank you for the gift of inspiration. I wish you all the best in this significant role the Lord has bestowed upon you. May He bless you always. Please remember us in your prayer, the youth and delicate.

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