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Conference of Diocesan Priests of India elects new head

Father Roy Lazar

Father Roy Lazar, a priest from the Vellore diocese in Tamil Nadu, south India, has become the President of the Conference of Diocesan Priests of India (CDPI).

During the annual general body meeting of the CDPI held in Jaipur from January 23–25, members conducted the election.

CDPI represents more than 12, 000 diocesan priests of the 132 Latin Catholic Dioceses in India.

The 64-year-old priest, born on September 28, 1959, is a distinguished figure in the fields of Pastoral and Practical Theology and Applied Religion.

His extensive academic journey includes post-doctoral studies at Würzburg University, Germany, specializing in Fundamental Theology and Practical Theology.

He holds various degrees, including a Ph.D. earned in 2002, and has demonstrated expertise in areas such as Ecumenism and Inter-Faith Dialogue, Peace Studies, Spirituality, Pastoral Counselling, Religion & Peace, Sociology, and Psychology of Religion, with a focus on Youth Animation and Counselling.

As a Professor of Pastoral/Practical Theology and Applied Religion, he has made significant contributions to the Department of Christian Studies at the University of Madras, Chennai, the Sacred Heart Seminary in Poonamallee, Chennai, and the St. Francis Xavier Spirituality Centre in Veppoor, Vellore District.

His passion for education is evident in his role as a Correspondent and Director of educational institutions, including St. Joseph’s Matric and Higher Secondary School and Shine Academy of Educational Excellence in Veppoor.

In addition to his academic achievements, Father Lazar has actively participated in pastoral ministry, serving as Associate Parish Priest and Parish Priest in various churches within the Vellore Diocese.

His pastoral administration roles include Director and Coordinator of Pastoral Commissions, Vice-Rector and Rector at St. Francis Xavier Seminary, and Diocesan Consulter. He has notably served as President of the Conference of Diocesan Priests of India for both Vellore Diocese, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

His membership titles in professional societies and ecclesial bodies reflect his commitment to dialogue and collaboration. He has served as Secretary of the Indian Theological Association and Secretary of the Tamil Theological Association.

He has been actively involved in various international forums, including the International Academy of Practical Theology and the Conference of Diocesan Priests of India.

His academic pursuits, pastoral ministry, and contributions to education have garnered him regional and national recognition, including awards such as the Human Rights Award and the Nehru Award for Educational Service.

With a rich and diverse background, Dr. Anthonisamy continues to play a vital role in theological and pastoral circles, contributing to the intellectual and spiritual development of individuals and communities.

The CDPI was founded in 2001, and the CDPI's amended statutes were recognized and accepted by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in 2014. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) recognized CDPI as an association of diocesan priests in 2008.

The goals of CDPI are to expand the pastoral bond between priests outside of their respective dioceses, to deepen the relationship between bishops and priests, to strengthen the bond between priests by fostering unity, to continue ongoing formation through pastoral spirituality and signs of the times, and to create a web of mutual support to realize God's reign both locally and globally in the church.

Under the direction of the CCBI Commission for Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy, and Religious, CDPI has implemented several programs during the past 20 years to achieve these goals.


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