Bishop of Kerema given higher calling

Pope Francis, the Catholic Church’s world leader, has appointed Bishop of Kerema Diocese Fr. Peter Baquero Junior, SDB, the first Superior of the Vice Province PGS (Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands).

Fr. Peter Baquero was born in Manila (Philippines) on September 15, 1970, and made perpetual profession in 1998 and was ordained in 1999 in Parañaque.

From the period of his practical training in PNG he followed the missionary vocation ad gentes.

After his ordination spent most of the time in the front-line mission in the Gulf Province of PNG – Kerema diocese (Araimiri and Lariau – 10 years), in the capital of Port Moresby (Gabutu Don Bosco Technical School), from 2014 to 2016 as the Superior Delegate (PNG-SI) and since July 9, 2016, as the first Superior of the newly established Vice-province of PNG – Solomon Islands (PGS) of Blessed Philip Rinaldi.

Catholic Diocese of Kerema is located in the Gulf Province, near to the capital city of Port Moresby and was established in 1971. It comprises the territory of 34.000 square kilometre, total population of 128.300, with 25.200 Catholics (20 percent), 10 parishes, five diocesan priests with seven religious priests (including our SDB community in Araimiri) and 14 religious sisters.

Bishop elect Peter Baquero will succeed Bishop Virgil Patrick Copas, MSC (1976-1988), Paul John Marx, MSC (1988-2010) and Patrick Taval, MSC (2010-April 9, 2013).

For the last three years, Kerema diocese was vacant. The first mission entrusted to the SDB in PNG (1980) was in Kerema diocese with the Araimiri MHC Parish and Don Bosco Technical School.

At present, there are already two other SDB bishops in the PGS vice-province countries – Mons. Francesco Panfilo (Archbishop of Rabaul, PNG) and Mons. Luciano Capelli (Bishop of Gizo, Solomon Islands).

We send our congratulations, prayers and support to Bishop elect Peter Baquero and accompany him in this new stage of his Salesian life!

He celebrated the Eucharist on January 24, in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.

Press release