Former Military Chaplain and Last Franciscan Bishop of Aitape

AITAPE – I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bishop Austen Crapp OFM at Sydney Royal Hospital yesterday at 5 am, a day after his 90th birthday.

An era has ended with Bishop Crapp’s death, for this great man was the last missionary priest of the Franciscan Diocese of Aitape. He had served our people as parish priest and bishop for more than 40 years.

I came to know Bishop Crapp when he was the parish priest at Pes Catholic Mission from 1994 to 1996, when he was not yet a bishop.

Like the priests before him – Fr Leo Leonie and Fr Gailes – I was his altar boy each Sunday.

Everyone should know how to rise again, even if they are a worse sinner, was one of the teachings of Fr Crapp when he was at Pes.

He walked among us as a beacon of faith, compassion and unwavering dedication.

Bishop Austen Crapp OFM

He was not merely a priest and bishop but a pillar of strength, a source of wisdom and a shining example of hope for all who crossed his path.

Heartfelt condolences to the Franciscan family in PNG and Australia, to his own family in Australia and especially to the clergy and laity of our Franciscan Diocese.

Let us honour his legacy by continuing the work he had started and left – to love one another, to serve our community with humility and compassion, and to live our lives guided by faith and integrity.

Farewell champ.  Safe journey home.


Article courtesy of png attitude Sina Alwyn Wallace, and Facebook, Rob Parer 


Funeral was held at:

Mary Immaculate Church
Mass of Christian Burial



Army Chaplain – 1967 to 1981

1967-76 Pacific Islands Regiment Wewak, PNG Chaplain

1977-80 Igam Barracks Lae, PNG Chaplain

1980-81 Lavarack Barracks Townsville, Qld Chaplain