Pope Francis has appointed Fr Rozario Menezes, as the third Bishop of the Diocese of Lae. He replaces Bishop Christian Conrad Blouin who served the diocese from Jan 15, 2007.
Fr Rozario is an Indian Montfort Missionary who has served in the church in Papua New Guinea since May 2000. In May last year, during the General Chapter of the Monfort Missionaries, he was selected as the assistant-general of the congregation and had to leave country to take up the appointment.
Fr Rozari was born in 1969 in a small town called Virajpet, in Coorg district, in the South Indian state of Karnataka. He belonged to the diocese of Mysuru.
He made served in the Society of Montfort Missionaries from June 29, 1999, and was ordained priest on Nov 4, 1999. Since his arrival in the Daru-Kiunga Diocese in Western, he served the church in different capacities for eight years.
He was the parish priest of St Brigid’s parish in Kiunga and at the same time caretaker of St Paul’s parish in Nomad. He also worked as a youth chaplain and project officer in Daru-Kiunga Diocese before going to Montreal, Canada, for his studies in formative psychology and counselling.
After returning from his studies, he formed the programmes for Montfort Missionaries in Papua New Guinea. He moved to the Archdiocese of Port Moresby and served as parish priest of St Martin De Porres Parish, in Morata. Morata is a suburb with lots of settlements and a high crime rate. It’s a no-go zone for many people.
Fr Rozario was instrumental in transforming the community and bringing positive changes to the area and the lives of many people.
The church, which was attended by very few in the beginning, started to attract more people and was soon overflowing with faithfuls from all walks of life.
While serving as the parish priest there Fr Rozario was also involved in other ministries and took up responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Port Moresby as well as in the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands.