Mission Society of the Philippines



THIS MONTH of October, the MSP officially opens a new mission in the Pacific, particularly in the small island of Tokelau.  On September 27, 2011, the MSP Father Moderator, Fr Alfie Africa, together with Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, the apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, and Fr Oliver Aro MSP, traveled to Tokelau via Apia, Western Samoa for the installation of the new ecclesiastical superior in this “sui iuris” mission.

The installation of Fr Oliver Aro as the new ecclesiastical superior took place on October 2, 2011 in the Catholic Church in Nukunonu Atoll. The holy mass, as well as the rite, was presided by the apostolic nuncio and was witnessed by the outgoing ecclesiastical superior, Msgr Patrick Edward O’Connor, Fr Africa, and the faithful in Tokelau.

Msgr Aro received the official appointment from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) last May 2011. He replaced Msgr O’Connor, a native of New Zealand, who served as ecclesiastical superior from June 1992 until his retirement in May 2011. Msgr O’Connor took that position at a time when the Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia and Tokelau was split in 1992 into Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia and Mission “sui iuris” of Tokelau. Msgr  Aro will be serving the Catholic faithful residing in the two of the three atolls in this Pacific Island.

Prior to his coming to Tokelau, Msgr Aro was a missionary to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. As ecclesiastical superior, Msgr Aro will be part of the conference of bishops in the Pacific, known as CEPAC, and will join the bishops in their regular ad limina visits to Rome.

[for more pictures, please go to GALLERY]



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