Étienne Jérôme Rouchouze

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The Most Reverend
Etienne Jerome Rouchouze
Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Oceania
Stephen Rouchouze.jpg
Church Roman Catholic
See Titular Bishop of Nilopolis
Appointed 14 June 1833
In office 1833-1843
Predecessor Alexis Bachelot
Consecration 22 December 1833
by Carlo Maria Pedicini
Rank Bishop
Personal details
Born (1798-02-28)February 28, 1798
Chazeau, Guadeloupe, France
Died 1843
At sea
Nationality French
Episcopal arms of Msgr. Rouchouze in a window at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu.

Étienne Jérôme Rouchouze SS.CC. (English: Stephen Rouchouze; Chazeau, Loire 1798 – 1843 at sea) was a French Catholic missionary in the Eastern Pacific.[1][2][3]


For the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, he served as Vicar Apostolic and Titular Bishop of Nilopolis[4] from 1833 to 1843 of the Vicariate Apostolic of Oriental Oceania, from which were derived the Archdiocese of Pape‘ete, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu and the Diocese of Taiohae o Tefenuaenata in the Marquesas Islands. As a missionary bishop, Msgr. Rouchouze resided in Valparaíso, Chile and in Honolulu; he was responsible for the evangelization efforts of the Picpus Fathers in the Hawaiian Islands and eastern Pacific. His motto was Per aspera in astera (from hardship to the stars).

Prior to his episcopal ministry, Pope Gregory XVI, on November 27, 1825, created the Prefecture Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands. Father Alexis Bachelot was subsequently appointed its first prefect on December 3, 1825.

Msgr. Rouchouze was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Oriental Oceania and Titular Bishop of Nilopolis on June 14, 1833 with ordinary jurisdiction over the Hawai‘i prefecture apostolic. He was subsequently consecrated to the episcopate in Rome, on December 22, 1833 by the Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Carlo Maria Pedicini.[5] On June 29, 1834, in Golden Square in London, Msgr. Rouchouze served as principal co-consecrator in the episcopal ordination of Msgr. John Bede Polding, O.S.B., Titular Bishop of Hierocaesarea and Vicar Apostolic elect of New Holland.

Rouchouze left Le Havre on October 29, 1834 and arrived in Valparaíso, Chile on February 19, 1835. After staying a few months, he went on to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands on May 9, 1835. He baptized the island's king Maputeoa and his family on August 25, 1836.[6] On April 4, 1839, Msgr. Rouchouze returned to blessed the first stone for the St. Michael's Cathedral, Rikitea in Mangareva.[7] He said the first pontifical Mass in the Marquesas at Tahuata on February 6, 1839. He arrived in Honolulu on May 14, 1840.[8]

On December 8, 1842, the ship Marie-Joseph was blessed in Saint Malo in Brittany. Shortly thereafter, Msgr. Rouchouze, accompanied by thirteen brothers and ten sisters, left Saint Malo for Oceania on the Marie-Joseph. A nun died at sea. Unwilling to bury her at sea, they put into Island of Saint Catherine and buried her there. On February 19, 1843,[9] Rouchouze and his twenty-two missionaries left the island on the Marie-Joseph. The party stopped off in Florianópolis in Brazil to bury the body of Sister Caliste Le Gris, who had died on board. Evaristo, a Mangarevan youth, fell ill and also died while they were in Brazil. The ship was last sited off the Falkland Islands on March 13, 1843. Rouchouze and his companions were never seen again and were presumed to have perished at sea.[10][11]

See also[edit]

Sources and References[edit]

  1. ^ Lettres des missionnaires maristes en Océanie (1836-1854) - Page 721 2008 "Mgr ROUCHOUZE Étienne : 1798 à Chazeau, Loire - 1842 en mer Père picpucien, Vicaire apostolique de l'Océanie orientale il s'installe d'abord à Mangareva aux Gambier, puis, à Tahiti, comme évêque de 1833 à 1836. Il disparaît en mer ..."
  2. ^ Yannick Essertel L'aventure missionnaire lyonnaise: 1815-1962 2001 Page 215 "Mgr Rouchouze, vicaire apostolique de l'Océanie orientale. A la demande du Père Coudrin, Rome confie au Père Étienne Rouchouze1 l'évangélisation de l'Océanie orientale le 20 mai 1833. Le vicariat est formé des îles Gambier, de Tahiti, ..."
  3. ^ Pierre-Yves Toullelan Missionnaires au quotidien à Tahiti: les Picpuciens en Polynésie Page 136 - 1995 "À Mgr Rouchouze (vicaire apostolique de 1836 à 1840) succèdent Mgr Baudichon (1844-1848) et Mgr Jaussen (1848-1884). L'abandon de Mgr Baudichon entraîne la nomination pour les Marquises de Mgr Dordillon (1855-1888).
  4. ^ Garrett, John (1982). To Live Among the Stars: Christian Origins in Oceania. University of the South Pacific Institute of Pacific Studies. p. 92. ISBN 2-8254-0692-9. 
  5. ^ Carlo Maria Pedicini
  6. ^ "Tahiti 1834-1984 - Chap. VIII. DEUXIÈME PARTIE L'APPEL DES ÎLES LOINTAINES". Paroisse de la Cathédrale de Papeete. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Kirk 2012, p. 128.
  8. ^ "Mgr Étienne ROUCHOUZE". Paroisse de la Cathédrale de Papeete. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Lal, Brij V.; Kate Fortune (2000). The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 191–192. ISBN 0-8248-2265-X. 
  11. ^ "Disparition du Marie-Joseph". Paroisse de la Cathédrale de Papeete. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 


Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Prefect Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands, Prefect Apostolic of Tahiti, Prefect Apostolic of the Marquesas Islands
Vicar Apostolic of Oriental Oceania
Succeeded by
Vicar Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands, Vicar Apostolic of Tahiti, Vicar Apostolic of the Marquesas Islands