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Gratitude to Bp Ambrose Kiapseni, MSC


- Fr. Giorgio Licini


Kavieng: Retiring Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC, received a solemn farewell on Tuesday 14th August at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Kavieng.  


Born on the 16th of October, 1945, the boy from Lihir Island joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC).  He was ordained a priest on 7th January, 1975 at the age of 29.  He was ordained a bishop on the 12th May, 1991 and stepped down for health reasons at the age of 73. He led the diocese of Kavieng-Lorengau for 27 years.


Honouring the events were Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby, the Apostolic Nuncio, Mons. Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, half a dozen bishops from Papua New Guinea, priests and a good number of lay people.


Governor Julius Chan, former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, on Monday afternoon warmly welcomed the new bishop and all those present at the celebrations.


Students from all over New Ireland province headed to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Kavieng town dressed in their colourful uniforms.


‘Justice, Mercy and Humility’ was the episcopal motto that Bp. Ambrose took on the day of his Episcopal Ordination.  


At the homily, Archbishop Panfilo recalled the virtues of the retiring bishop.  In commenting on the motto that Bp. Ambrose took on the day of his Episcopal ordination, Abp. Panfilo said, “These are relevant and powerful Gospel values that the Bp. Ambrose embodied in his long ministry”.


At the program after the Eucharistic celebration, Cardinal John Ribat spoke on the life and mission of Bp. Ambrose. “He has been my inspiration at the time I was discerning my vocation, as a high school student, nearly 40 years ago,” said the Cardinal.


Pope Francis has recently appointed Bishop Rochus Joseph Tatamai MSC, 56, of Bereina to replace Bp. Ambrose Kiapseni as the fourth Bishop of Kavieng-Lorengau. The diocese, with 26 parishes, covers the islands of Duke of York, Manus and New Ireland. Bishop Tatamai, a native of Rakunai in East New Britain province, will officially take over his responsibility on August 15th, on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, with a similar ceremony at the Cathedral in Kavieng.

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