The third Bishop of Lae, Bp Rozario Menezes SMM, was ordained on 14th December, 2018. A unique moment at the end of the celebration was the handing over of the flame to the new bishop.
Emeritus Bishop Christian Blouin CMM joyfully passed the torch of pastoral leadership to his successor. He spoke of his joy and happiness of the appointment of the new bishop.
The late Bishop Emeritus was born on 1 November 1941 in St. Sebastien, Quebec, Canada.
He went for his secondary education to College de Levi in Levi Quebec in 1955. Prompted by his desire to become a missionary and a priest, Christian Blouin went to another school in 1957, to Mariannhill Mont-Ste-Anne College in Sherbrooke to complete his secondary school training. He entered the Novitiate of the Missionaries of Mariannhill in Rock Forest Quebec in 1962, and then studied Philosophy and Theology at the University of Sherbrooke from 1963-1969.
He was ordained a priest on 3rd May 1969 by the Archbishop of Sherbrooke, Jean-Marie Fortier. For many years he was a staff member of the Mont-St Anne College in Sherbrooke, he worked there mainly as Dean of Students. Then he made a request to come to Papua New Guinea for mission experience.
In 1985-86 he was in the Lae Diocese for a year. The experience in Papua New Guinea made a deep impression on him; he felt the call to work in the mission, but he had to return to Canada. There he continued his work in formation as novice master for two years. In 1989 the late, then Fr. Christian Blouin was transferred to New Guinea.
He has been working in various places within the Diocese of Lae. He was at first parish priest of the All Saints Parish in the Bumbu settlement. Later was assigned to the St. Patrick's Parish in the Tent City settlement. This was during the floods in Bumbu, people were resettled there, and they pitched up tents for shelter, and so the name today Tent City settlement.
Thus, it was there that he carefully built up the young community and developed a bare block of land into a flourishing station with a parish church, a community hall and a primary school from elementary up to Grade Eight. The Catholic community at St. Patricks' as we have it now is clearly a stamp of the mission work of the late Bishop Emeritus Christian Blouin.
As a priest in the diocese, he was also chaplain of the Charismatic Renewal Movement and in his Congregation in PNG he was provincial superior from 1993-99.
In 2002 he was entrusted with the formation of Mariannhill priest candidates at Bomana and was engaged in the setting up of a house of formation at Bomana, of which he was rector from 2002-2005. Then he was assigned to Lae again where he oversaw formation of candidates for Mariannhill and at the same time looked after the St. Martin’s Parish as parish priest.
Then His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Bishop of Lae succeeding Bishop Henry van Lieshout. Bishop van Lieshout was the first of the diocese which had been a Vicariate Apostolic since its erection in 1959. The news of the appointment of Bishop Christian Blouin was released by the Vatican press on 5th January 2007.
His consecration and installation as Bishop of Lae Diocese took place on 5 May 2007. The Emeritus Bishop Christian Blouin CMM has been the bishop of Lae Diocese for 12 years. His task included relief efforts as he was part of the Caritas board.
On October 10, 2018, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Rozario Menezes, a Monfortian missionary, as his successor. On December 15, 2018, Rozario Menezes SMM became the third bishop of Lae Diocese.
The Lae Diocese says may the Lord grant Emeritus Bishop Christian Blouin eternal rest in his kingdom. May he reward him for his service to the Diocese and other places where he ministered as a missionary, religious and clergy.
The funeral program will be as follows:
- Tuesday January 15, 2019 at 4.3opm: Casket leaves funeral home for St. Mary’s Cathedral (haus krai). The Body of late Bishop Emeritus will remain at the St. Mary’s Cathedral for parishioners and well-wishers to offer their prayers and pay their last respect. (The body will remain from Tuesday January 15, 2019 until Wednesday January 16, 2019 morning 10am.)
- Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 10.30am: Funeral mass will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral, followed by burial at St. Joseph’s Pastoral center cemetery.