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Pope Francis Appoints Bishop for Madagascar’s Tsiroanomandidy Diocese

The Bishop-elect of Madagascar's Diocese of Tsiroanomandidy, Fr. Gabriel Randrianantenaina

Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Gabriel Randrianantenaina Bishop for the Diocese of Tsiroanomandidy in the Indian Ocean Island nation of Madagascar.

The Friday, April 30 appointment was published by the Holy See Press Office.

The Bishop-elect is set to become the Local Ordinary of the Diocese within the Ecclesiastical province of Antananarivo that has been vacant since February 2017 when Pope Francis transferred Bishop Gustavo Bombin Espino to the country’s Diocese of Maintirano.

Born in February 1969 in Tanambe within the country’s Diocese of Ambatondrazaka, the Bishop-elect was ordained a Clergy of the same episcopal see in December 1997. 

In 2006, he was incardinated in Madagascar’s Diocese of Moramanga following its creation. 

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Until his appointment as Bishop of Tsiroanomandidy, Msgr. Randrianantenaina has been serving as the Coordinator of the Bishops’ Conference of Madagascar. 

Previously, he served as Rector of St. John Marie Vianney Major Seminary within the Diocese of Moramanga.

During Pope Francis’ visit to Madagascar in 2019, Fr. Randrianantenaina said the people of God in the nation were “living the papal visit as a historical moment of grace.”

“Despite the various events that have marked the history of Madagascar we have hope and with this visit, we want to start on a new slate,”  he said ahead of the 2019 Papal visit to the world’s second-largest island nation.

Making reference to the theme of the Papal visit to Madagascar, he was quoted as saying, “The Pope has come among us as a Sower of peace. From a political point of view, notwithstanding some controversies, the last general election went reasonably well.”

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The Diocese of Tsiroanomandidy was erected in December 1958.

As the fourth Bishop of the 19,206 square-kilometre Diocese, the Bishop-elect will be tasked with shepherding about 241,325 Catholics.