Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - On July 11, 2014, the Holy Father, erected the Apostolic Prefecture of Makokou (Gabon) to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate and appointed Father Joseph Koerber, C.S.Sp., Apostolic Prefect of the same ecclesiastical district as the first Apostolic Vicar of Makokou. He has been assigned the titular see of Siccenna.
The new Apostolic Vicariate of Makokou, Oyem, borders the Diocese of Oyem to the north, the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville to the east, the Archdiocese of Libreville to the west, the Diocese of Franceville and Mouila to the south.
Fr. Father Joseph Koerber, C.S.Sp., was born on September 3, 1943 in Sierentz (diocese of Strasbourg, France). After studying philosophy and theology at the Spiritana Family institutes, he professed his perpetual profession on December 10, 1970. He obtained a specialization in Pastoral Theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris. He was ordained a priest on 24 June 1972 and sent immediately after to Gabon, he has served in a number of pastoral roles: Assistant priest, Priest, Regional Treasurer of the Spiritains in Gabon, based in Libreville. He worked for many years in the region of Makokou. Since 7 March 2003, he has been the Apostolic Prefect of the same district.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Makokou has an area of 46 thousand sq. km, 54,000 inhabitants, of whom 26,000 Catholics (48%), 5 parishes, 5 diocesan priests and 2 religious priests, 3 religious women, 5 seminarians. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 14/07/2014)