Filipino missionary ordained coadjutor bishop in Cook Islands

Filipino missionary priest Fr. Reynaldo Getalado was formally ordained as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Rarotonga in the Pacific island nation of Cook Islands on April 27.

Fr. Reynaldo Getalado (Photo courtesy of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart)

As coadjutor bishop, the Church leader automatically succeeds Bishop Paul Donoghue after Pope Francis accepts his resignation. Bishop Donoghue, a New Zealander, turned 75 in January, the mandatory retirement age for bishops.

Bishop Donogue presided over the episcopal ordination of Fr. Getalado in a ceremony held at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Avarua, in the northern part of the island.

The ceremony was witnessed by more than 20 priests and four prelates, including Filipino Bishop Ryan Jimenez of the Saipan diocese of Chalan Kanoa, and hundreds of faithful.

Bishop Jimenez is also the new president of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific, which is comprised of 17 ecclesial territories.

Prior to his appointment, Fr. Getalado has been serving as a missionary of the Mission Society of the Philippines to the Mission Sui Iuris of Funafuti, the capital island nation of Tuvalu. 

His new assignment was announced by the Vatican on Dec. 8, 2023 on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands is a suffragan diocese of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Suva in neighboring Fiji. 

Born in 1959, the priest is from Muntinlupa City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the Far Eastern University in Manila in 1979 before he joined the MSP. 

He earned his philosophical and theological studies at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City. He was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 4, 1988.