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Indonesia: Pope appoints new bishop for Diocese of Sanggau

Bishop-elect of Sanggau Diocese, Father Valentinus Saeng, CP (Photo by Mirifica News Agency)

Father Valentinus Saeng, CP, has been chosen by Pope Francis to replace Bishop Julius Menccucini, CP, as the new Bishop of the Sanggau Diocese in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

During a Mass on June 18 at the Sanggau Cathedral, Bishop Menccucini told the congregation about the new bishop. He did so after receiving an official letter with the news from the Vatican's ambassador to Indonesia, Mgr. Piero Pioppo.

"Through this letter, I want to confirm to you and ask you to tell this beloved local church that Pope Francis has appointed Father Valentinus Saeng CP, a native of Borneo born in this diocese who is currently a lecturer in philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Theology (STFT) Widya Sasana in Malang, as the new Bishop of Sanggau and your replacement," said Nuncio in his letter, which was read at Sanggau Cathedral.

In a statement, the Pope said, "While conveying this papal decision, I rejoice with you, all priests, religious, nuns, and lay faithful in the youngest and most respected local church of Sanggau, and I ask them to pray for the bishop-elect and welcome him heartily as the new shepherd."

The Nuncio says that the Holy Father has a lot of respect and gratitude for Bishop Menccucini's long and successful career as an archbishop.

The Holy Father pointed out that Bishop Mencuccini helped the Catholic Church in Sanggau grow and improve.

The Pope said, "Your intelligence, spiritual gifts, pastoral passion, and leadership have helped the Catholic Church in Sanggau grow in number and quality, as well as in the number of beautiful and useful church buildings." 

Sanggau is a regency in the province of West Kalimantan. It is in the middle and northern parts of the area, about 1,553.1 kilometers from Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

There are 565,600 residents in the territory. Dayaks make up 55 percent of the population in the West Kalimantan districts of Sanggau and Sekadau. There are also 30 percent Malay, 7 percent Javanese, 5 percent Chinese, and 3 percent of others. 

The diocese was established on June 8, 1982, including the West Kalimantan regencies of Sanggau and Sekadau. It is a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Pontianak. - Kasmir Nema


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