Kavieng: The Catholic faithful flocked in numbers to the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kavieng Town to celebrate and witness the Episcopal Consecration and Installation of Bishop Ronald Vunuvung as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Kavieng on Tuesday August 15th 2023.
The Episcopal Consecration and Installation had Archbishop Rochus Tatamai MSC from the Archdiocese of Rabaul as the principal consecrator with Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF from Bougainville Diocese and Bishop John Bosco Auram from Kimbe Diocese as co-consecrators.
In a heartwarming welcome remark, Dean of Kavieng Deanery Fr. Mark Kombeng welcomed everyone who braved the heavy rain to be part of the celebration and described the occasion as a milestone achievement for Kavieng Diocese.
“For too long, our diocese suffered. We have been like sheep without a shepherd for too long and this celebration today marks the end of our suffering and the beginning of our joy and our walk into a new era with our Shepherd”, he said.
Tatamai in his homily reflected on the history and transition of Kavieng Diocese from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) to the Diocesan Clergy.
“Since the establishment of Kavieng Diocese in 1966, the diocese has been administered by the MSC Bishops with Bishop Alfred Stemper MSC as the first bishop, Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse MSC as the second bishop and later Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC as the third Bishop. Bishop Kiapseni had big plans for localization in the diocese which I tried to follow when I took up post as Bishop after his retirement and today, I’m very happy that Kavieng Diocese is finally under the administration of a Diocesan Bishop.”
Following the homily was an emotional procession by the family of Fr. Ronald Vunuvung as they took him to the altar to be consecrated as Bishop after the reading of the Papal Bull by the Apostolic Nuncio his Excellency Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez.
The congregation cheered after the consecration rites as Fr. Ronald Vunuvung now became Bishop Ronald Vunuvung and was led to the Cathedra by Archbishop Tatamai and the two co-consecrating Bishops.
Bishop Ronald when sharing his sentiments as the new Bishop said he is looking forward to journeying with the people in his Diocese and encouraged everyone to put their differences aside and work together for the betterment of the Diocese.
“When I accepted the role of Bishop, I didn’t want to hear the good things happening in the Diocese, I wanted to know more about the challenges faced in the Diocese, so I know how to walk with my people when I become their shepherd. It is now our duty to work together to overcome these challenges”, said Bishop Ronald.
The Episcopal Ordination was graced by the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands His Excellency Archbishop Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, ten Bishops, Priests, Religious Nuns, parishioner representatives from the three deaneries of Kavieng Diocese, the New Ireland Provincial Government representatives, friends from far and near and other Christian denominations as well as media personnel.
The Coat of Arms for the new Bishop is taken from the Synodal theme: Communio, Participatio et Missio.
Bishop Ronald Vunuvung hails from East New Britain and is the 5th Bishop of the Kavieng Diocese. He was ordained a priest on November 24, 1985.