Dec 2018

This page:  New Bishop for Wallis & Futuna  |



New Bishop of Wallis and Futuna Islands: Fr Susitino Sionepoe sm

 P. Tino Sionepoe  Bishop Ghillain
                          Bishop Elect Fr Susitino Sionepoe sm                                   Retired Bishop Ghilain de Rasilly sm

Biography of Mgr Susitino Sionepoe sm
(known as Fr Tino)

On December 24, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Ghislain de Rasilly to the Pastoral Government of Wallis and Futuna, and appointed Father Susitino Sionepoe, Sr. as the fourth Bishop of Wallis and Futuna.
Born on January 4, 1965 in Vaitupu (Hihifo, Wallis), with three children (2 boys and 1 girl), he studied at Malaetoli (1973-1976) and secondary school at Alofivai College in Wallis ( 1977-1980). After a time of discernment at the vocational home of Finetomai, in Lano, he was sent in 1984 to Foyer Saint-Léon, Païta and is part of the group of "Lorenzo", for a school upgrade at College Sainte-Marie, before going to Wellington, New Zealand, for a three-month immersion in English before entering the Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva, Fiji.

His studies of philosophy in 1985-1986, and theology from 1988 to 1993 were interrupted by a year of military service in 1987, at Pointe Chaleix in Nouméa, as a sailor on Jacques Cartier, a year of novitiate at Tutu, in 1989 , Fiji, and one year internship in the northern community in 1991. On November 28, 1993, he was ordained a Marist priest in Wallis, on behalf of the Province of Oceania.

After his ordination he spent two years (94 and 95) in the kingdom of Tonga as vicar at Nuku'alofa, then at Houma. In 1996 he arrived in New Caledonia, where he served in the Northern Community as a referent priest of Pouébo (1996-2000), then Koumac (2000-mid 2005), and from 2001 Moderator of the parishes of the North entrusted to the Marists. From mid-2005 to mid-2006, he attended a "Year of Formation in Ministries" (AFM) at the Catholic Institute of Paris. Upon his return, he joined the Southern Community. Named referent priest of La Conception, from mid-2006 to the end of 2011, he magnificently restored the church of the Immaculate Conception. In 2008, he was appointed Moderator of Southern Parishes entrusted to the Marists.

In 2012, appointed Vicar Provincial of Oceania, he left New Caledonia for Suva, Fiji. Within the Council he was the Councilor in charge of the Regions of Vanuatu and New Caledonia (each with their Regional Superiors) and the Superior of the Wallis and Futuna Region placed directly under his authority. As such, he regularly visits this archipelago where he had the old Foyer of Finetomai restored to accommodate the Marist Community of Wallis, as well as pilgrims on their way to Poï, Futuna. He was also provincial leader of the Marist laity. He performed these functions for six years. On two occasions he was elected delegate of the Province to the General Chapters of 2009 and 2017, in Rome. When his term ended, he spent the first part of 2018 in Australia for a period of spiritual renewal.
Since mid-September 2018, he was part of the Southern Community, in charge of the parish of Touaourou / Unia / Yaté. He was very involved in the celebration of its 130th anniversary, on December 18th: it was his "swan song".
Thank you to him for all these years spent serving our Church in New Caledonia. We offer our best wishes and assured him of our prayers for a fruitful ministry in this sister church of Wallis and Futuna, the first to receive the gospel brought by the Marist missionaries 182 years ago (Toussaint 1837 ).
François Grossin sm