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.
Brother George Farkas, MSC died on Friday, May 29, 2020, at about 1 AM, at Manor Care Nursing Home, Bethlehem, PA. He was 88 years old. He was born in Northampton , Pennsylvania on July 23, 1931, to George and Sophia (Baziak) Farkas. He graduated from Assumption Parochial school, Northampton, PA in 1945, and from Northampton High School in 1949. He attended Bethlehem Business School, Bethlehem, PA, in 1953-54. From 1955 to 1968, he worked at Cement National Bank in Northampton.
In 1970, he entered the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart novitiate in Shelby, Ohio, and made his first profession of vows on June 12, 1972. As a novice, he was assigned to the keeping of accounts, which he continued to do throughout his religious life. After the novitiate, he remained in Shelby until 1976, making perpetual profession of vows on May 22 of that year. Br. George was then assigned to Aurora, Illinois, where he was the provincial treasurer from 1980 until 1992. While in Aurora, in addition to his duties as treasurer, he regularly preached in the Mission Cooperative Plan throughout the United States. He was a member of the core staff of the provincial administration.
In September 1992, Br. George was assigned to Youngstown, Ohio, where he assisted in managing the financial affairs of the Youngstown community and the retreat house. In July 1996, he was assigned to Reading, PA for various community service ministries. In June 2000 Br. George returned to Aurora where he continued his community service ministry. He also participated in ministry to the Aurora community at large by working with the homeless at Hesed House, working the late evening and early morning hours overseeing the men’s sleeping quarters there. He later retired and moved to our community in Center Valley, PA. In 2015, he moved to Manor Care Nursing Home in Bethlehem, PA, where he lived for the remainder of his life.
Br. George had one brother, three sisters, and one half-sister who predeceased him. They were Andrew Farkas, Elizabeth Farkas, Anne Stackel, and Mary Andrews, and his half-sister Margaret Milander. He has numerous nieces and nephews and was a wonderful uncle.
He will be buried at St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Haycock, PA.
May Br. George Farkas rest in eternal peace.
Well, I hope everything is ok, knowing we are all committed to following what is truly important during difficult times.
I want to share news from Colombia: We are doing fine. Everyone is healthy so far. Today we started a 19-day lockdown. We are all confined. The numbers of people with the Coronavirus are growing-every single day we have new cases. Yesterday we had about 300 people infected; today we have more than 400 infected and 4 have died due to the virus. Things in the country don’t look good and the prognosis is not good. It seems to be getting worse as the days pass.
Here at Santa Margarita where I am living with Dario and two students, things are ok. We dedicate time for cooking, praying, and mass — resting since we have lots of extra time, and working as well. The students are attending online classes. It is a peaceful time at home, given everything. The other people at the seminary and Sacred Heart Parish are doing fine — no bad news or problems; we hope everything continues to be stable.
We are all united in prayer. Life is very demanding worldwide but the Spirit is still at work.
Thank you very much for your attention and support. We continue our journey united in prayer.
Hugo Leon Londoño, MSC