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Pope names new bishop of archdiocese of Kupang in Indonesia

Father Hironimus Pakaenoni, elected bishop of the Archdiocese of Kupang, Indonesia.

Pope Francis appointed Father Hironimus Pakaenoni as the new bishop of the Archdiocese of Kupang, Indonesia, on March 9.

“Today, March 9, 2024, at 12.00 Rome time and 19.00 Kupang time, Pope Francis announced the appointment of Father Hironimus Pakaenoni as Metropolitan Bishop of Kupang,” said Bishop Petrus Turang during the Eucharistic Celebration of Laetere Sunday, Fourth Lent, at St. Maria Assumpta, Kupang City.

The Pope fully accepted Bishop Turang's resignation, granting him the status of emeritus archbishop of Kupang.

Bishop Turang expressed his happiness and offered his congratulations to the newly elected bishop for his commitment to serving the people with delight. The elected bishop has chosen the motto "Pasce Oves Meas"—"Feed My Sheep'.

Together with the religious sisters and faithful, Bishop Turang expressed his elation, while also offering prayers for the archbishop-elect and extending a warm welcome as their new pastor.

Turang stated that to maintain the Ecclesiastical Government in the Archdiocese of Kupang, which is currently without a bishop, known as "Sede Vacante—Empty Throne,"  the Pope issued a written decree appointing Bishop Turang as Apostolic Administrator. 

Bishop Turang will lead on behalf of the Pope until a new bishop is ordained as archbishop, at which point he will assume full pastoral power.

On May 9, 2024, the elected bishop will be consecrated bishop, which will take place at the Feast of the Ascension.

Father Hironimus Pakaenoni was born on April 14, 1969, in Noemuti, Kefamenanu, which is located in the province of East Nusa Tenggara.

He attended a minor seminary at Maria Immaculata Lalian from 1985 to 1989 in Atambua. After that, he pursued his studies at the Ledalero Catholic Philosophy School, which is today known as the Institute of Philosophy and Creative Technology (IFTK), located in Maumere, Flores, from 1990 to 1994.

He completed his theological studies from 1995 to 1997 and officially became a deacon on April 27, 1997. Subsequently, on September 8, 1997, he was ordained a priest.

From 2001 to 2003, he pursued dogmatic theology in Rome, Italy.

The elected bishop also serves as a formator at the Santo Mikael Major Seminary in Kupang.

In addition to his role as a formator and lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy at Widya Mandira Catholic University in Kupang, he also holds the position of Chairman of the Management of the Swastisari Foundation of the Archdiocese.

The Kupang Archdiocese spans an area of 14,150.15 square kilometers and encompasses five districts: Kupang, Rote, Sabu, Alor, and South Central Timor.

In 1910, Divine Word missionaries initiated visits to the Catholic community in Kupang. However, it was not until the 1930s that they constructed the initial provisional Catholic church in the South Central Timor district.

Following 1965, the local church saw significant expansion as numerous indigenous faith adherents joined its ranks.

On November 23, 1989, the diocese of Kupang was elevated to the status of an archdiocese.


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