Pope Francis at a general audience in the Vatican. Pope Francis at a general audience in the Vatican.  

Pope makes appointments in Philippines, India, Papua New Guinea

Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed an auxiliary bishop in Cebu (the Philippines), a bishop in Srikakulam (India) and another bishop in Bereina (Papua New Guinea).

The Holy Father appointed 3 bishops in Asia on July 16. 


He appointed Father Midyphil B. Billones as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu in the central Visayas regions of the Philippines.

The 50-year-old priest of the archdiocese is the rector of St. Joseph Regional Seminary of Jaro.  With his appointment, he has been assigned the titular see of the Tagarata.

Born in Pan-ay, in the Archdiocese of Capiz, on July 4, 1969, Fr. Billones completed his higher and philosophy studies at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Iloilo City.  Thereafter he obtained a Master’s degree in theology from Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City in Manila.

Oct. 2, 1995:   Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Jaro;

1995-1997:      Assistant parish priest of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Jaro;

1997-2000:     Personal secretary to Archbishop Alberto Jover Piamonte of Jaro;

2000-2001:    Personal secretary to Archbishop Angel Nacorda Lagdameo of Jaro.  He also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council, Vice-Chancellor, President of the Commission for Youth and Notary of the Third Diocesan Synod;

2004-2012:    Studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, for a Doctorate in theology;

2011-2013:    Vice Rector and Director of Human Formation at St. Joseph Regional Seminary in Jaro;

Since 2013:   Rector of St. Joseph Regional Seminary, Jaro  and member of the Presbyteral Council and President of the Diocesan Commission for the Laity;


Meanwhile, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Pope appointed Fr. Vijaya Kumar Rayala as Bishop of Srikakulam diocese.  He takes over from Bishop Innayya Chinna Addagatla, who retired on December 12, 2018.

The 49-year-old priest is the regional superior of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) to which he belongs.  

Fr. Rayarala was born on October 15, 1969, in Khammam. After joining the PIME missionaries in 1990 took an orientation course with them for two years at St. John's Minor Seminary in Nidadavolu, Eluru.

1991-1993:       Studied philosophy at the Jnana Deep Vidyapeet, Pune;

1993-1998:      Studied theology and spirituality at the PIME International Theologate at Monza, Italy.

2000-2003:     Studied for Licentiate in Biblical Theology at the University of San Luigi in Posillipo, Naples; Italy;

Aug. 25, 1997: Solemn profession as PIME missionary;

Aug. 29, 1998:  Ordained to the priesthood as PIME missionary;

1998-2000:      Vocational animator at St. Xavier's Institutions, Eluru;

2000-2003:     Studies for a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at the University of St. Louis in Posillipo, Naples;

2003-2006:     Missionary and parish priest in Papua New Guinea;

2006-2008:     Associate director of the Rehabilitation Centre for Lepers in Mumbai;

2008-2014:     Director of the Rehabilitation Centre for Lepers in Mumbai;

Since 2014:     Regional Superior of PIME in India and member of the College of Consultors of Eluru Diocese.

Papua New Guinea

Pope Francis also appointed a bishop in the Diocese of Bereina in Papua New Guinea.  He has transferred Bishop Otto Separy of Aitape to Bereina

16 July 2019, 16:24