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Sep 15 : The Episcopal Ordination and Solemn Installation of the 14th Bishop of Mangalore Diocese, Dr Peter Paul Saldanha was held at the Rosario Cathedral grounds on September 15, 2018. Apostolic Administrator of Mangalore Diocese Bishop Dr. Aloysius Paul D'Souza officiated the ceremony attended by around 26 bishops, 500 priests and 12000 plus faithful and well-wishers across the state.
The ceremony began with the Eucharistic Celebration starting with the introductory rites, followed by the liturgy of the Word. The Rite of Ordination of Bishop began with invoking of the Holy Spirit. Msgr. Javier D Fernandez, Nunciature, Delhi, read out the pontifical bull of Mangalore given by Pope Francis in Latin, Fr Joseph Martis read it in English and Fr Victor D Mello in Konkani and then presented the Bishop-elect to the congregation. Bishop Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shivmoga Diocese preached the Homily. The Bishop-elect then made promises before the principle consecrator Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza. The Litany of Supplication was sung invoking the intercession of all saints to aid the bishop in leading the Diocese.
Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza led the prayer of Consecration and anointed the new bishop with holy oil. The Book of the Gospels was handed over to the Bishop.
Insignia–the Episcopal ring on the right finger, symbolic of the bishop’s marriage to the Church and spiritual parentage of the diocese’s faithful, The Miter and Pallium on the head that symbolise the offices’ dignity and jurisdiction and crozier (staff) symbolising bishop’s pastoral authority and Christ’s love and protection for his people as a shepherd to watch over his sheep, were handed over to Bishop Peter. The mass offerings brought by the family members of the Bishop and the lay leaders of the diocese were received by the newly ordained bishop. The Liturgy of the Eucharist was then led by the new bishop.
The programme was followed by the public felicitation programme to the newly installed Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul D'Souza. A documentary on his life compiled by Canara Communication Centre was played.
Archbishop Peter Machado of Bengaluru, Archbishop FillepeNeriFerrao of Goa & Daman, Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, Bishop Alex Vadakunthala of Kannur Diocese, Bishop VergheseChakkalakal of Calicut Diocese, Bishop Robert Miranda of Gulbarga Diocese, Bishop Anthony Kariyil of Mandya Diocese, Bishop Derek Fernandes of Karwar Diocese, Bishop Joseph Arumachadath of Bhadravathi Diocese, Bishop EphreimNarikulam of Chanda Diocese, Bishop Francis Serrao of Shivamogga Diocese, Bishop Oswald Lewis of Jaipur Diocese, Bishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur Diocese, Bishop RogatKimario of Same Diocese, Tanzania, Bishop Cyprian D'Souza of Anansol Diocese, Bishop Lawrence Mukkuzhy of Belthangady Diocese, Msgr. Javier D Fernandez of Nunciature Delhi, Bishop Pius Thomas D'Souza of Ajmer Diocese, Bishop Joseph Mar Macario of Puttur Diocese, Bishop T Anthony Swamy of Chikkamagalur Diocese, Bishop Henry D'Souza of Bellary Diocese and Bishop Mohan Manoraj, CSI Bishop, KSD were present during the Eucharistic Celebration and public felicitation programme. Also Fr. J B Xavier and Fr. Joe Sebastian representing the Urbanian University, Rome, Elizabeth Williams, Regional Immigration Office, Moshi, Tanzania were part of this historic event.
Urban Development, Housing and Dakshina Kannada In-charge Minister U T Khader, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner SasikanthSenthil, Mangaluru South MLA Vedavyas Kamath, Mangaluru City Police Commissioner T R Suresh, Puttur MLA SanjeevaMatandoor, former MLA's J R Lobo, RamanathaRai, YogishBhat, Abayachandra Jain, MoiudeenBava, MLC's Ivan D’Souza, B M Farook, MP Oscar Fernandes, Blossom Fernandes, Mangaluru Mayor BhaskarMoily, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, Deputy Mayor K Mohammed, ADC Kumar, Zilla and Talukpanchayat members, were present among the galaxy of VIPs.
Fr Joseph Martis welcomed the gathering and both new and retiring bishops welcomed all the guest bishops with a shawl. Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha was then felicitated by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bengaluru on behalf of the Clergy, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Mangalore and the citizens of Mangaluru. SrSusheelaSequeira, UFS, read the citation. MelwynPeris and Group sang the felicitation song.
Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha addressing the galaxy of people said, “'My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the King' (Ps 45, 1). Indeed, my heart is overflowing with gratitude to God for his great love towards me. I cannot really count the blessings of the Lord, manifested through the goodness of so many of you who have put in an immense amount of hard work out of sheer love and have considered this programme as your own. May God be praised! May God bless you.
As my motto goes, 'To the praise of his glorious grace', the grace of God is at work in each one of us and we are witnesses for the fact that the same God’s Spirit has brought us together, men and women of different faith traditions. This shows love is stronger than death; love is nobler than any particular ideology and it is higher than all narrow dividing walls.
The Bible depicts man and woman as created in the image and likeness of God. If you really worship God, then, you will respect and protect the image of God, that is, every man and woman; that is a sweet sacrifice pleasing to God. I desire mercy, not sacrifices, says God in the Bible and Jesus repeats it. Today is the day of a great call to love, respect and protect every human being and his/her habitat-our common home, that is the sure sign that we truly love God.
Today, you have collaborated in the ordination of a Catholic Bishop, a leader of the Christian community, a shepherd who stands in the name of Jesus Christ; he is also called as the Vicar of Christ; that is, to represent him. The mission of a Bishop is to be a bridge between the people; to be an angel of peace and to be a prophet of truth.
As a bishop, I am called to represent the Christian community. Christians are never for their own sake. Neither a bishop is for his own sake. You protect the Christians and you will see them becoming more and more kind and gentle to cater to the needs of all people, irrespective of caste and creed. You protect the Hindus and they become extremely generous to lend a helping hand; you protect the Muslims and you will see them becoming genuinely compassionate.
We have to play on the tender strings of human hearts and produce a harmonious melody. A single instrument, however sweet music it may produce, cannot give the effect of a concert. When all instruments are played in unison and the human voices blend with them, you have the angelic experience. We need to work hard, practise daily to produce the sweet melody of Love, Truth and Mercy from human hearts. Let us, then, protect and appreciate one another; let us absorb prejudice and violence like a sponge and turn it into compassion towards one another.
We belong to one human family. Our needs and fears are the same. If you look deep into the eyes of another you notice the pain hidden behind those eyes. If you listen to the heartbeat of another you will hear the cry for love. Unfortunately, we have built walls of suspicion and over the years, they have been reinforced and our hearts have become hardened. Can we take up this occasion to start anew to build a better humanity around us? Can we create free space for the fresh air of love to flow in, so that we breathe healthy oxygen? Our land is called the land of the Learned and Wise. However, there is much to learn till we die and there is much more to experience to be wise."
The bishop who spoke in Italian, Tulu, English, Kannada and Konkani then thanked each and everyone who helped to make this day a memorable one. He said in Tulu "I am the son of this soil and all of us who are from this soil need to come together to build walls of humanity by lowering the walls of Religion".
Retiring Bishop who served the Diocese for 22 long years was felicitated by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore on behalf of the Clergy, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Mangalore. M P Noronha read the citation. The outgoing bishop, replying to the felicitation said “Mangalore Diocese is called the Rome of East and this Diocese has found an able bishop. I congratulate the newly ordained bishop and invoke God's choicest blessing on Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha.”
He further said, “I have served this diocese according to my motto - with the compassionate heart of Jesus Christ. I have done my job in a dedicated way. It was possible because I had a gift of good priests and lay leaders who supported my mission. I thank God for the blessings bestowed on me to serve this diocese for 22 long years. I thank each and every one who helped me to do this."
“In the words of St. Peter I say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I will be guilty before the Lord if I had not been faithful to my duties. I have compassionately done my job and have loved everyone without hurting anyone. I ask your forgiveness in case if by any chance I have hurt anyone unknowingly. I request all the faithful to extend your wholehearted support to the new bishop to carry out his mission successfully."
Urban Development, Housing and Dakshina Kannada Incharge Minister U T Khader speaking on behalf of the people of the state congratulated the bishop on his episcopal ordination. He said, “Mangalore is internationally renowned. As the bishop said, let's raise the walls of humanity and break the walls of religion, I too second his words."
He further said, "Bishop of Mangalore is not only a religious leader but also a leader for the entire community of Mangalore may it be educational, social, political and economic classes. Mangalore is the hub of education mainly because of the educational revolution was done by Christian missionaries. We are indebted to their work. I congratulate the new bishop of Mangalore and wish him all the best in his future commitments."
Mr Khader congratulated Bishop Aloysius Paul DSouza and said the latter was people’s bishop and his kindness had made him successful. He then felicitated both the bishops with shawls.
Archbishop of Bangalore Bishop Peter Machado was felicitated by Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza and Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha on behalf of the Mangalore Diocese. Rector of St Aloysisus College FrDionasius Vas read the citation.
All the three bishops then planted coconut saplings to spread the message of Pope Francis verbalised in “Laudato Si” an encyclical on the environment and human ecology. One sapling will be given to every parish and religious institutions in the Doicese to promote ecology.
In his message, Archbishop of Bangalore Bishop Peter Machado congratulated the new bishop and said, “Bishop Peter is indeed a good leader and I am sure he will lead the Mangalore Diocese to greater heights.”
On behalf of all the bishops of Karnataka Regional Bishops Council, MsgrJayanathan read the citation and Bishop Peter Machado, Bishop Issac Lobo and Archbishop Emeritus BernandMoras felicitated Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza for his tireless service for the Diocese of Mangalore. They also felicitated new Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha on his ordination.
Fr. Walter D'Mello, Judical Vicar of Mangalore Diocese proposed a vote of thanks. Fr. Maxim D'Souza, Professor of St Joseph’s Seminary, William Colaco of Shakthinagar, John D'Silva, Vice Principal of St. Aloysius Arrupe Block, compered the programme.