Pope Francis has named Fr. Celestin-Marie Gaoua as bishop of Sokode, Togo.
Celestin-Marie Gaoua was born in Wahala, Togo, in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He has served in a number of roles, including rector of the St. Paul minor seminary and the Fr. Jeremie Moran seminary in Atakpame, and missionary fidei donum in the Diocese of Sokode, where he was parish vicar, pastor of the Cathedral parish and parish administrator.
He is currently rector of the national philosophical major seminary Benoit XVI in Tchitchao, Kara, Togo.
He succeeds Bishop Ambroise Kotamba Djoliba, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
The Diocese of Sokode has a population of some 1.3 million, with about 153,000 Catholics. They are served by 65 priests and close to 90 religious.
Togo is about 29% Christian and 20% Muslim, with half of the population professing indigenous beliefs (51%).