HomeNewsFilipino missionary is new coadjutor bishop of Rarotonga in Cook Islands

Filipino missionary is new coadjutor bishop of Rarotonga in Cook Islands

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Reynaldo Bunyi Getalado of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP) as new coadjutor bishop of far-off Rarotonga diocese in the Cook Islands.

Getalado has been serving as a MSP missionary to the Mission Sui Iuris of Funafuti, the capital island nation of Tuvalu.

His appointment was made public in the Vatican at 12 noon, 7:00 p.m. in the Philippines, on Dec. 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

As coadjutor bishop, Getalado will eventually succeed Bishop Paul Patrick Donoghue, who is turning 75 in January next year, the mandatory retirement age for bishops.

Born in 1959, the bishop-elect hails from Muntinlupa City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the Far Eastern University in Manila 1979 before he joined the MSP.

After his philosophical and theological studies at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, he was ordained to the priesthood on August 4, 1988.

After his ordination, he was sent to the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga in Papua New Guinea, where he served for 11 years. Following that, he was transferred to the Diocese of Auckland in New Zealand, where he served from 2000 to 2003.

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From 2003 to 2004, he went back to the Philippines and served as the parochial vicar of the Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Mandaluyong City. Between 2005 and 2014, he was assigned to the Diocese of Bougainville, an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea.

Since 2014, he has been serving as the Ecclesiastical Superior of the Mission Sui Iuris of Funafuti.

The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 236.7 square kilometres.

Established as a diocese in 1966, Rarotonga has a population of around 14,000, with approximately 17 percent being Catholics. It is also served by four priests and 20 catechists.

Mission Sui Iuris of Funafuti and the Diocese of Rarotonga belong to a conference of bishops called the Episcopal Conferences of the Pacific or CEPAC.

Both also fall under the Dicastery for Evangelization, specifically the Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches, with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle serving as its pro-prefect.

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