New Archbishop Of Bhopal To Be Installed On Sunday
A solemn Eucharistic celebration will be held at 2.30 pm on the St. Joseph’s School Grounds, Bhopal.
The Apostolic Nuncio in India Archbishop Pedro López Quintana, Emeritus Archbishop of Bhopal Pascal Topno, CBCI secretary general Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandez, bishops of MP & Chhatisgarh region and archbishops and bishops from other parts of the country are expected to participate in the ceremonies.
Priests, representatives of religious communities and faithful of Khandwa also will be attending the ceremony to pray for their outgoing Bishop.
The Eucharistic celebration will be followed by a felicitation function which will be attended among many other dignitaries by the governor of MP, Dr Balram Jhakkar and MP chief minister Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Leo Cornelio, formerly Bishop of Khandwa as the new Archbishop of Bhopal. At the same time, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the incumbent Archbishop of Bhopal Paschal Topno who completed seventy five years today.
A member of the religious congregation of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), Bishop Cornelio has been the Bishop of Khandwa for nearly 8 years.
Since June 1988, prior to his appointment as Bishop of Khandwa, then Fr Leo Cornelio served as the consultor general of the Society of the Divine Word, Rome for nearly twelve years.
The newly appointed Archbishop Cornelio was born on March 14, 1945 in Kukkunje, near the coastal city of Udupi in Karnataka. After completing his primary schooling in his native place, at the early age of thirteen he was recruited by well known SVD German missionary, Fr. Peter Verhalen, and was admitted to Rajeshwar Vidhyalaya, Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. There he continued his studies from 1958 to 1962.
After completing two years in an apostolic school of the Divine Word Society, where he studied Latin and other disciplines meant to integrate his life with spiritual and intellectual training, he joined the novitiate (1964-66) for spiritual and religious formation.
After his first profession, he graduated with a B. Ph and a B. Th. at the Papal Athenaeum, Pune in the year 1968 and 1972 respectively.
After his philosophical studies, he was assigned to an Institution in Goa for an intensive year of training exposure. During this time, he helped in the construction of the SVD seminary and taught the students English and mathematics.
Having made the Religious Profession on June 11, he was ordained a priest in his native parish Mount Rosary Church, Kallianpur on November 14 by the then Bishop of Mangalore, Bishop Basil S. D' Souza.
Soon after his ordination, he joined Gyan Ashram, Mumbai to assist Fr. George Proksch SVD, a German missionary who made significant contribution to music, dance and Hindi writings.
Later, he was assigned to an institution in Dohad, Baroda Diocese. He worked for eleven years there, first as teacher and vice principal of St. Stephen's Higher Secondary School and as assistant parish priest of St. Joseph's Parish. During this time, he actively involved himself in teaching, pastoral work, and youth activities.
In June 1983 he traveled to Rome for a spiritual and theological course.
On his return to India in 1984, he was elected as provincial superior of the SVD Central Indian province with its headquarters in Indore. Three year later, in 1987, he was re-elected to the same position.
In June 1988, at an SVD General Chapter held in Rome, he was elected a consultor general. He served for two terms of six years each in that position,.
As a general councilor, he has traveled far and wide in U.S., Canada, Australia, Caribbean islands and a good number of countries in South America, Africa, Asia as well as Europe.
Already acquainted with several Indian languages and English as an international language of communication, he took time to learn five other foreign languages - Italian, Spanish, French, German and Indonesian - to be able to read, write and converse in them.
Almost towards the fag end of his second term as general councilor, Pope John Paul II appointed him as bishop of Khandwa Diocese. As a dedicated shepherd, he promoted the educational and social development apostolates in a big way.
At present, he is a member of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People for the second successive term.
Also, he is the chairman of the CBCI Commission for Youth and chair-person of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) as well as for YCS/YSM, both at the national and Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh levels.
Besides, he is a member of the CBCI Commission for Social Communications and also the financial administrator for the Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Regional Major Seminaries at Bhopal and Ashta.