Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bishop Albert D'Souza Now Agra Archbishop

INDIA: Bishop Albert D'Souza Installed As Archbishop Of Agra

New Delhi, April 11, 2007 (CBCI News):

Former Bishop of Lucknow Albert D’Souza was solemnly installed as the Xth Archbishop of Agra Archdiocese today at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

The See of Agra was vacant due to the transfer of Archbishop Oswald Gracias to Mumbai as the Metropolitan of Bombay.

During the solemn ceremony, the appointment letter from the Holy Father was read by Archdiocesan Chancellor Fr Ignatius Miranda and the Hindi translation was presented by the Archdiocesan Administrator Bishop elect Msgr Raphy Manjally.

Then the new Archbishop publicly made the profession of faith by reciting the Apostles' Creed.

Thereafter, Apostolic Nuncio in India Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana and Archbishop Gracias led Archbishop D’Souza to the Metropolitan seat, the ‘Cathedra’.

In his homily, Nuncio said, “the ministry of Archbishop Albert D'Souza is a gift of God to the Archdiocese of Agra and he was greatly delighted to install him as the Xth Archbishop of Agra which has been the mother diocese to a number of dioceses of North India.”

"Every diocesan Bishop has to uphold the Apostolic Catholic Faith and be a source of unity in the local church. While the Bishop has his responsibilities towards the community, all the Catholic faithful, have the bounden duty to actively work along with the local Bishop, to build up the church" said the Nuncio.

Eighteen Archbishops, Bishops and a large number of priests, religious and the Catholic faithful participated in the Holy Eucharist.

Later, a public reception was accorded to the new Archbishop in the local St Peter's College Hall.

Archbishop Albert D'Souza born at Moodubelle in Mangalore on August 4th, 1945, got his primary and secondary education at St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle, and later graduated (B.A.) from Kumaon University, Nainital.

Brought up in a very devout family, he joined St. Paul’s Minor Seminary at Dilkusha, Lucknow in 1965, with his intent to become a priest for the Diocese of Lucknow. He did his Philosophical and Theological studies in St Joseph’s Regional Seminary, Allahabad and was ordained priest on December 8th, 1974.

After a stint of pastoral ministry, first as an assistant Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Church, Bazpur (1975-77) and then as Parish Priest of St. Jude’s Church, Mohanlalganj (1977-78), he was appointed Professor and spiritual director of St. Paul’s Minor Seminary, Dilkusha, Lucknow from 1978-84.

Equipped with a one-year diploma course in formation spirituality at the National Vocation Service Centre, Pune, Archbishop Albert was enthusiastic and zealous in guiding retreats particularly for youth whose faith formation was his real passion, in view of fostering local vocations.

He was the pioneer of the month-long life orientation programme for the youth of Uttar Pradesh region, which is being organized every summer till date.

In 1984 he obtained Doctorate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical University Angelicum, Rome. After returning to his diocese, he served at St. Paul’s Seminary, Dilkusha, for a year and subsequently sent to St. Joseph’s Regional Seminary at Allahabad as Professor of Theology and spiritual director (1989-92).

Pope John Paul II elected him as Bishop of Lucknow on November 26th, 1992, and after his Episcopal Ordination on February 7th, 1993, he was installed as the fourth Bishop of Lucknow, which he served for 14 years.

Agra Archdiocese consists of the following districts in Uttar Pradesh: Agra, Aligarh, Auraiya, Budaun, Bulandshahr, Etah, Etawah, Farrukabad, Fathegarh, Firozabad, Gautambudha Nagar, Hathras, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Mathura and in Rajasthan, Bharatpur and Dholpur.

By a decree of the Sacred Congregation, dated May 17th, 1784, the Vicariate - Apostolic of the Great Moghul was constituted.

The prefecture Apostolic of Tibet-Hindustan was in 1820, constituted into the Vicariate Apostolic of Agra, with Msgr Maria Zenobio Benucci, ofm cap. as its first Vicar Apostolic, who was succeeded by Msgrs Anthony Pezzoni and Anthony Borghi.

The imposing Cathedral of Agra is a symbol and monument of the untiring zeal of the Capuchins for the extension of the faith and the progress of the Catholic Church in India.

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