Australia's Catholics have received with joy the news that Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed Archbishop Adolfo Yllana, a Filipino native, as their apostolic nuncio.

"For the bishops, priests, religious and people of our country, I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for his nomination of Archbishop Adolfo Yllana as Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, to succeed Archbishop Paul Gallagher," Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne stated Feb. 17.

"It is an indication of the Holy Father's love and concern for us all," added the archbishop, who serves as president of the Australian bishops conference.

"Archbishop Yllana brings wide and diverse experience, great faith and priestly gifts," Archbishop Hart  continued. "We assure him of a warm and enthusiastic welcome upon his arrival and service here in Australia."

Archbishop Yllana was born in Naga City in the Philippines in 1948, and in 1972 was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Caceres.

He was consecrated a bishop in 2002, and appointed apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, serving there until 2006. He was apostolic nuncio to Pakistan from 2006 to 2010, and apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2010 until his transfer to Australia.

Archbishop Yllana received a doctorate in both canon and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University, and then did postgraduate studies in international diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He speaks Tagalog, English, Spanish, Italian, and French.

The archbishop succeeds Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who was appointed secretary for relations with states at the Vatican State Secretariat in November, as nuncio to Australia.