Pope Francis on Friday appointed Bishop Rochus Josef Tatamai, M.S.C. as the new Archbishop of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
Bishop Tatamai has been serving as the Bishop of Kavieng since 2018.
He succeeds Archbishop Francesco Panfilo S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese was accepted by the Pope.
Bishop Tatamai, M.S.C. was born on 24 September, 1962 in Raduna and was ordained a priest on 26 November, 1989.
He attended the Minor Seminary of Ulapia (1978 – 1981) before entering the Novitiate of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Vunapau. He made his first profession on 2 February, 1983.
He studied philosophy and theology in Bosmana. On 2 February, 1989, he made perpetual vows and was ordained a priest in November, the same year.
After his priestly ordination he attended a Counselling course in Australia. He also took media courses in Ireland and in France (Religious Television Association).
Bishop Tatamai has served as Parocchial Vicar and Substitute Administrator in several parishes (1990-1993); Director of Vocations of the M.S.C. (1990-1997); Provincial Secretary (1992-1995) and Assistant to the Post-Novitiate Director (1995-1996).
Between 1997-1998, he studied Communication Science at the “Kairos Communication Institute” in Maynooth, Ireland. After that, he served as Vice-Provincial (1998-1999); Member of the Provincial Council (1999), Member of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), as well as the Religious Television Association (RTA-EMTV) as Executive Secretary and Director of the Catholic Section (1998). He was also Vice-President for the Pacific Region of the World Association for Christian Communications (WACC-PAC), based in Tonga (2000-2002).
Bishop Tatamai has been Chaplain at the Sacred Heart Basilica in Issoudun, France since 2003.
On 8 July 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop of Kerema. Two years later, he was appointed Bishop of Bereina. Pope Francis subsequently appoined him as the Bishop of Kavieng, Papua New Guinea on 22 June, 2018.