Pope Francis has appointed a Papua New Guinean alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary and its former spiritual director as bishop.
Bishop-elect John Bosco Auram will succeed Bishop William Regis Fey, whose retirement from the pastoral care of the Kimbe diocese was accepted by the pope on Friday.
Upon his appointment, Auram has been serving as acting rector of the Sacred Heart preparatory seminary in Rapolo of the Archdiocese of Rabaul.
Aged 46 and a priest for only 15 years, he will be the third bishop of the 16-year old diocese.
Auram was born on Oct. 19, 1972 in the village of Kandoka, province of West New Britain, which formed part of the archdiocese of Rabaul but now belongs to Kimbe.
He began his formation at the Saint Peter Chanel minor seminary in Ulapia, and then completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Rapolo.
In 2004, he was ordained a priest for the clergy of Kimbe, the second ordained priest after the creation of the diocese.
Since his ordination, he has held various positions in the diocese and also underwent further studies at the Institute of Priestly Formation in the U.S. and at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.
Auram also completed his licentiate in pastoral theology from the UST Central Seminary in Manila and served as its spiritual director from 2016 to early 2019.