Bishop Ryan to Archbishop Novatus: “Welcome home!”
The Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC) has a new Apostolic Delegate.
The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in New Zealand and Apostolic Delegate to the Pacific Ocean Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, who is currently Apostolic Nuncio in Honduras. The appointment was officially announced in the Vatican City on Friday, 29 March at 12 noon (Rome time).
Immediately after the receiving the news, Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez, wrote a personal email to Archbishop Rugambwa, as a courtesy and promising his support, cooperation and prayers to the new nuncio. “The islands have been ‘home’ to you since you were assigned in New Zealand in the past and we in CEPAC are part of this region,” says Bishop Ryan to Archbishop Rugambwa. So, welcome home!
Archbishop Rugambwa served as Apostolic Nuncio in various countries around the world, since joining the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1991, including New Zealand from 2000 until 2004.
” I thank God for the second time He is giving me to be in Wellington and almost all the Islands in the Pacific,” says Archbishop Rugambwa. ” I was in the area at the beginning of this century but I did not have enough time to visit the Pacific Islands except for Micronesia.” He thanked Bishop Ryan for his welcome and he assured him that he will certainly make plans visit the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa once he arrives in Wellington.
Archbishop Rugambwa was born in Bukoba, Tanzania on October 8, 1957 and was ordained priest on July 6, 1986. After obtaining the degree of Doctor of Canon Law, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 1991. Since then he has worked in the following Apostolic Nunciatures: Panama (1991-1994), Republic of Congo (1994-1997), Pakistan (1997-2000), New Zealand (2000-2004), and Indonesia (2004-2007).
He was then appointed Undersecretary of the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People on 28 June 2007.
Since March 2015 he served as Apostolic Nuncio in Honduras until today. He replace Archbishop Martin Krebs as Apostolic Delegate in Oceania who was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Uruguay last year.
What is an Apostolic Nuncio?
Apostolic Nuncio or Papal Nuncio is a permanent diplomatic representative (head of diplomatic mission) of the Holy See to respective countries where the Vatican has diplomatic relation. In the case of the Pacific region which is composed of several states, the official title is ‘Apostolic Delegate’.
The nuncio is essentially the Pope’s representative to the country or the area he is sent. Besides acting as a diplomat, he is also responsible in helping the Holy Father in appointing bishops in the diocese under his care.