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God wantaim yumi

Installation of Bp Rochus Tatamai MSC as Bishop of Kavieng

- Fr. Giorgio Licini


Kavieng: The Catholic diocese of Kavieng welcomed its fourth bishop on the 15th of August, 2018 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration attended by all parishes at the cathedral of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Kavieng.


Bishop Rochus Joseph Tatamai MSC aged 55 years, succeeded Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC, who was farewelled yesterday after 27 years of service.  Bp Tatamai was born on the 24th of  September 1962. He made his profession as a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart on 2nd February 1983 and was ordained a priest on 26th November 1989.  On 8th July he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Kerema and Titular Bishop of Accia.  He was ordained Titular Bishop of Accia on 29thSeptember, 2005.  On 29thNovember, 2007 he was appointed Bishop of Bereina and has completed 10 years of Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of Bereina.


At the beginning of the Installation ceremony, the Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Archbishop Mathew Kurian Vayalunkal, read the pontifical decree turning over the diocese to the pastoral care of Bishop Tatamai. He then received the pastoral staff from his predecessor and was accompanied to the cathedral episcopal seat by Cardinal John Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby, and Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB of Rabaul. The coat of arms of the new Bishop of Kavieng was unveiled bearing the motto: God wantaim yumi.


In his message after the liturgical readings, Bp. Tatamai recalled his familiarity with the diocese having served on various occasions as a replacement for the ailing Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni.  He then connected the event to today's feast of the Assumption of Mary. "Through her God made contact with us. The creature became the mother of the Creator", he said as he addressed the congregation.  “As Mary could not immediately understand God's plans, so too I have often been taken by surprise by my pastoral appointments”, said Bp Tatamai. 


In Kavieng, Bishop Rochus Joseph Tatamai, who is also the current President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, takes over a diocese of 26 parishes spread among the islands of Duke of York, Manus and New Ireland. There are 22 diocesan priests and 3 deacons. 


Major social concerns concern the more than 300 international refugees still left without resettlement in the island of Manus.  Another concern is the seabed mining project being planned just 30 km off the shores of New Ireland.

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