News Release

A New Chapel is Dedicated On the Island of Romanum in the Chuuk Lagoon


Inside the Chuuk Lagoon lies many small islands.  One of these islands is beautiful Romanum. Access to the island can only be achieved by boat.   A new chapel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was built and recently dedicated on Romanum May 26, 2024.  This is the third meetinghouse to be built on this same site. 

The new chapel is 6800 square feet consisting of a chapel, one classroom, bishop and clerk offices, and restrooms.  The members are excited to have air conditioning in the new meeting house.  It is powered by solar panels secured to the roof.


In celebration of the new meetinghouse, an open house was held on Saturday, May 25, 2024.  Members, friends, and municipality leaders were invited to attend.  Children, youth, and the Relief Society sang and performed traditional dances.  A wonderful lunch was served and enjoyed by everyone. 

Prior to the entertainment, visitors and members of the Romanum Branch were shown the new chapel, classroom, and offices where missionaries and others talked about the gospel.  In the chapel, they were taught about the sacrament of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement. In the classroom they were taught about the Book of Mormon and the gospel principles.  Missionaries taught about the temple in the bishop’s office. 

Sunday, May 26th, the dedication of the chapel was held following the regular sacrament meeting.  The Mwen Branch president from Weno, Tarsi Wainis who was also the boat driver, was the interpreter for the meeting.  In the meeting, President Masaru & Sister Megumi Okuda (Micronesia Guam mission president and his wife) spoke and shared their testimonies.  President Okuda praised all those branch presidents that had served faithfully for years, and included President Serimino Walter who is the branch president now. (This is his second time as the branch president) He said that forty years ago he was serving as a young missionary in the Micronesia Guam mission.  He mostly served on Palau.  He said that he never got to know his mission president.  He found out that he was also serving as the branch president on Romanum.  He now understands why he never got to know him.  President Okuda wishes he could report to him now about the new Romanum chapel and the Romanum branch.  President Okuda said: “It is a miracle to me that I am here today, nearly forty years later to witness this new chapel getting dedicated to the Lord.”  He talked about being there in 2022 when the foundation was being dug.  He expressed his desire for all the members to build their foundations on the Rock of our Savior Jesus Christ as it talks about in Heleman 5:12. He invited everyone to study about Jesus Christ in their homes, to invite children to pray, to read from the Book of Mormon and Bible, and to learn how good Jesus Christ truly is.  He testified that when we make mistakes, we can repent and do better.  If we do, Jesus will forgive us.  He was optimistic that this chapel would not be big enough and will need to be enlarged.  He told the saints that if they outgrow this chapel, they’ll build another one on the other side of the island!

Elder Darwin Halverson was the concluding speaker.  He said: “As we were coming to Romanum by boat, it looked like the island was glowing!” He knew that Heaven was smiling down on them.  He expressed gratitude for the Priesthood keys of the mission president, President Okuda, the District Priesthood keys of President Gacayan, and the Branch Priesthood keys of President Walter. He said he was grateful for the all the leaders and young future leaders, and all those who come to learn more about Jesus Christ.  He is grateful for the Aaronic Priesthood and how they represented Jesus Christ and helped us make and keep our covenants with Him and our Father in Heaven.

At the conclusion of the sacrament meeting, and a brief break, the dedication was given by Elder Halverson following a congregational hymn: “Redeemer of Israel”. 

Elder Halverson expressed gratitude in the dedicatory prayer for the Book of Mormon being translated into the Chuukese language and for our living prophet, President Russell M. Nelson.  He prayed for help to stay on the covenant path and be good examples. He asked the Lord to bless the missionaries who are and have served on Romanum that they will be protected physically, spiritually, emotionally and go forward as disciples of Jesus Christ. He prayed for help for the members to keep the meetinghouse clean and well maintained so that they may feel the joy that comes from serving the Lord.  He blessed the building, its foundation, and grounds.  He prayed for the youth to have good friends and to be nourished by the scriptures. He blessed the young men with a desire to serve missions.  In closing he said: “As we dedicate this meetinghouse, we re-dedicate our lives to Thee.” 

Romanum Meetinghouse 2024
Romanum Meetinghouse 2024
Romanum Branch © 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sister Dorina Gacayan shared her feelings about the dedication saying: "I am so excited for our new building! I feel how much our Heavenly Father loves us and our friends, especially today during the dedicatory prayer and blessing upon us.  I really feel like Heavenly Father appreciates all our hard work getting ready for today."

Several sisters also shared their feelings about the new chapel and dedication.  "I feel very peaceful and excited for this new chapel." 

"I can feel the Holy Spirit.  I feel a lot of joy." 

 "I feel like more people will come and attend the Church."

"I feel very happy!  I liked it.  It touched my heart.  I could feel the Holy Ghost."

"I feel like Heavenly Father has really blessed us.  It was a beautiful dedication."

President Walter thought the dedication was wonderful. He said: "We are so happy that the dedication is finally finished so we can use our new chapel.  The members are so excited!  It's been many years without air conditioning.  This will help us all to enjoy it more." 

Romanum Meetinghouse 2024
Romanum Meetinghouse 2024
© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Romanum Chapel stands as a beacon on the shore as a dedicated meetinghouse to the Lord. As Elder Halverson said in his prayer: “We pray that it will bless the lives of members of the Church and the community for many years to come.”  

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