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Episcopal Ordination of Fr. Simiao Fernandes in Goa: A Historic Celebration

During the Eucharistic celebration at Se Cathedral on June 17, Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão of Goa and Daman ordained Fr. Simião Purificação Fernandes as bishop.

On June 17, Fr. Simião Purificação Fernandes was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman by Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão, during a grand Eucharistic celebration held at the historic Se Cathedral.

Fr. Simião’s appointment by Pope Francis on April 6, 2024, marked a significant moment for the archdiocese, which has not had a new bishop in 30 years.

Cardinal Ferrão, the Principal Consecrator, presided over the Eucharistic celebration and the Rite of Episcopal Ordination.

The co-consecrators were Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX, of Daltonganj, and Bishop Alex Dias, SFX, Bishop-Emeritus of Port Blair. This ordination marks a new chapter for the archdiocese, which last welcomed a bishop when Cardinal Ferrão was ordained on April 10, 1994.

Bishop Simião Fernandes, hailing from Guirdolim Chandor, is the fourth native bishop to serve the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, following Bishop Francisco Rebello from Margao, Archbishop Raul Nicolau Gonsalves from Bambolim, and Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão from Aldona.

Around 6,000 people attended the ceremony, including many bishops from different parts of India, such as Bishop John Rodrigues of Poona and Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore. Numerous diocesan and religious priests concelebrated the Eucharist.

The newly ordained bishop, Simião Purificação Fernandes, stood alongside his fellow bishops following the Eucharistic celebration at Se Cathedral on June 17.

During the sermon, themed "Not to be served, but to serve," Bishop Sebastião Mascarenhas, SFX, of Baroda, emphasized the selfless service exemplified by Jesus and mirrored in the new bishop's motto.

He encouraged the faithful to follow this path of self-emptying service, highlighting the Church's role in serving the poorest of the poor and being a catalyst for broader societal change.

Cardinal Ferrão, in his introductory remarks, expressed joy over the ordination of Fr. Simião and underscored the importance of his ministry, aligned with the ethos of service.

Fr. Joaquim Loiola Pereira and Fr. Polly Lobo assisted the bishop-elect during the Rite of Ordination. The Apostolic letter appointing Fr. Simião as Auxiliary Bishop was read by Fr. Kevin Justin Kimtis in Latin and by Fr. Joaquim L. Pereira in Konkani.

The Rite of Episcopal Ordination included the Presentation of the Bishop-elect, Examination of the Candidate, Litany of the Saints, Imposition of Hands, Prayer of Ordination, Anointing of the Bishop’s Head, Presentation of the Book of the Gospel, Investiture with the Ring, Mitre, and Pastoral Staff, Seating of the Bishop, and the Kiss of Peace.

Governor of Goa P.S. Shredharan Pillai, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, North Goa MP and Union Minister Shripad Naik, South Goa MP Capt. Viriato Fernandes and several other political leaders were in attendance.

Fr. Elvis Fernandes, SFX, introduced the bishop-elect before the Mass, while Fr. Agnelo Pinheiro served as the liturgical commentator, and Fr. Afonso Mendonca animated the liturgy.

The liturgical singing was led by Fr. Mathew Rebelo of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol. Mr. Deron Rodrigues and Fr. Lucio Dias also spoke on the occasion, followed by a heartfelt address by Bishop Simião Fernandes expressing his gratitude.



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