Vatican City, 3 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Fr. William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera as bishop of Santiago de Maria (area 2,866, population 563,000, Catholics 449,700, priests 85, religious 88), El Salvador. The bishop-elect was born in Jayaque, El Salvador in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of San Salvador, including deputy priest, parish priest, director of the “Rosa Blanca” school centre, moderator of the archdiocesan curia, director of Caritas and episcopal delegate for education. He is currently pastor of the “San Marcos” parish. He succeeds Bishop Rodrigo Orlando Cabrera Cuellar, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Fr. Celestin-Marie Gaoua as bishop of Sokode (area 12,610, population 1,300,000, Catholics 153,000, priests 65, religious 87), Togo. The bishop-elect was born in Wahala, Togo in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He has served in a number of roles, including rector of the St. Paul minor seminary and the Fr. Jeremie Moran seminary in Atakpame, and missionary fidei donum in the diocese of Sokode, where he was parish vicar, pastor of the Cathedral parish and parish administrator. He is currently rector of the national philosophical major seminary Benoit XVI in Tchitchao, Kara, Togo. He succeeds Bishop Ambroise Kotamba Djoliba, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- erected the eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace, of the United States of American and Canada, for faithful of Syro-Malabar rite.
- appointed Bishop Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil, apostolic exarch for Syro-Malankars resident in the United States of America and apostolic visitor for the faithful in Canada and Europe, as the first eparchial bishop of the new eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace, of the United States of American and Canada.