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  • Sr. Esther Bolis

Archdiocese of Rabaul thankful for the life of late Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse MSC

Rabaul: “We cannot thank God for the gift of late Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus Karl Bernhard Hesse MSC, DD, MBE, GCL without appreciating his deep desire and commitment to charity and justice, especially for the poor and the marginalized.”


This heartfelt statement was made by the Vicar General, Rev Fr. Paul Kote, during his informative talk through Voice of Blessed Peter Radio on Monday, May 15 2023.

Late Archbishop Karl Hesse MSC died on May 14 2023, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. He was a leader who stood up for Charity and Justice (Caritas et Justitia).

The weeping and mourning of the people indicated that the late Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse was really a true missionary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He has fulfilled the invocation: May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved and has touched the hearts of many people, especially in the New Guinea Islands region namely; Kimbe Diocese, Kavieng/Lorengau Diocese, Bougainville Diocese, and most especially, the Archdiocese of Rabaul.

He added that the late Archbishop has done his very best even in the most trying and difficult times.

Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse always supported the poor, like the affected people of the 1994 volcanic twin eruptions in Rabaul, the Bougainville Crisis, and made sure that the people were well treated and happy because they are the Church.

He would always say: “Serving the Church was serving the people of God.”

During the Eucharistic celebration, the main celebrant Fr. George Tami, MSC said Emeritus Archbishop Karl Hesse came to PNG when he was a young priest. He was first stationed in the Baining areas of Vunamarita and Raunsepna parishes for a long period of time living among the Qaqet people on the Mountain ranges.


Becoming the Archbishop of Rabaul, he had a very busy schedule, but he showed great love, care and concern and he served and lived the love of the Sacred Heart in his relationship with the people. That is why he never thought of going back to Germany, his home Country. He totally and willingly gave up everything until he passed away with love and service in the mission to serve God.

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