Prior to 1984, the Turks and Caicos Islands were part of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Nassau in the Bahamas. In 1984, it became a Missio Sui Iuris (see below) and the first Ecclesiastical Superior was Archbishop Lawrence A. Burke S.J. During that time the islands were served by a number of priests who stayed anywhere from a few months
In the three years prior to 1998 the islands were served by a priest who came for some eight months of the year. The remaining six months of those last three years there was no priest present on the islands.
July 1998, at the request of the Holy See, the Archbishop of Newark provided two priests to serve on a full time basis the Catholic community of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In the Fall of 1998 the Archbishop of Newark, The Most Reverend Theodore E. McCarrick, assumed responsibility as Ecclesiastical Superior of the Roman Catholic Mission Sui Iuris Turks and Caicos Islands.
On 6th January 2017 His Eminence, the Most Reverend Joseph William Cardinal Tobin succeeded John J. Myers as Archbishop of Newark and as Ecclesiastical Superior of the Missio Sui Iuris Turks and Caicos Islands. Presently serving the Missio Sui Iuris Turks and Caicos Islands as Vicar General is the Reverend Monsignor Ronald J. Rozniak, P.A., Protonotary Apostolic of the Archdiocese of Newark.
Missio Sui Iuris
According to Canon Law (cf: canon 368), a Missio Sui Iuris, or mission in its own right, is just the beginning of the establishment of a particular church in a concrete territory. In fact, after planting the word of God into a territory, the mission territory becomes a Church entity called Missio Sui Iuris. This entity can belong to ecclesiastical territory (in our case, to the Dioceses of Nassau, Bahamas) but be governed by the ordinary of another territory (in our case, by the ordinary of Newark, New Jersey, USA; Archbishop John J. Myers). Thus, the Ordinary who governs the Missio Sui Iuris is its Ecclesiastical Superior. The next step for the Missio, according to the size and growth of the Catholic community is the establishment of an Apostolic Vicariate. Canon 371, paragraph 1, states that: "an apostolic vicariate or apostolic prefecture is a certain portion of the People of God which is not yet erected into a diocese, due to particular circumstances, and whose pastoral care is entrusted to an apostolic vicar or to an apostolic prefect who governs it in the name of the Supreme Pontiff".
The final step of the Missio Sui Iuris is to become the principal form of a particular Church, that is, a diocese. Governed by a bishop appointed by the Holy Father and helped in its pastoral care by the presbyterate and subdivided in several parishes, the diocese "constitutes a particular Church in which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative." (cf. Canon 369)
Therefore, please do help us with your prayers so that all this may one day become a reality for the greater glory of God and the establishment of the Catholic Church in all it's fullness.
The Missio Sui Iuris Turks and Caicos Islands, since its erection on June 10, 1984, has had three Ecclesiastical Superiors:
1. While still attached to the Diocese of Nassau, Bahamas, its Ecclesiastical Superior was The Most Reverend Laurence A. Burke, S.J., Bishop of Nassau, succeded by Archbishop Patrick Christopher Pinder.
2. On the 17th of October, 1998, two days after its detachment from the diocese of Nassau and entrustment to the Archdiocese of Newark, His Grace The Most Reverend Theodore E. McCarrick (now Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and Cardinal of the Church) was named its second Ecclesiastical Superior. Archbishop McCarrick appointed Monsignor Ronald J. Rozniak as Vicar General for the Islands.
3. Upon his installation on Friday, January 6, 2017, His Eminence the Most Reverend Joseph William Cardinal Tobin became the Ecclesiastical Superior for the Missio Sui Iuris Turks and Caicos Islands.
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK
WE, THE CHURCH IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK, are Catholic Christians who recognize and acknowledge in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, the expression of the Father’s gift of love for all people. Empowered by the Spirit of the risen Christ, we are called, as individuals and as a community, to be living witnesses of Christ’s presence and His ongoing mission in our society.
ANTILLES EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE
The new Website of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) provides an updated Directory including addresses, telephone and email addresses of most parishes, religious congregations and other organizations.