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Pope names new Bishop of the Diocese of Khammam in south India

Fr Prakash Sagili new Bishop of Khammam

On February 17, Pope Francis named Father Sagili Prakash as the Bishop of the Diocese of Khammam, south India.

He is the clergy of the Cuddapah diocese, currently the parish priest of St. John Bosco in Chittor, and the coordinator of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) Health Apostolate.

He was born on January 2, 1957. After attending St. Peter's Minor Seminary in Cuddapah and Christ the King Seminary in Vijayawada, he continued his formation at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Poonamallee, Chennai.

He became a priest on April 25, 1984. He held the following positions and carried out further studies:

In 1984, he became Deputy Parish Priest in Badvel and Director of the Youth and Pastoral Center (1985–1987).

He served as Parish Priest in Mydukur and Secretary, Multipurpose Social Service Society (1986); Regional Youth Director, Andhra Pradesh (1987–1993) and in Porumamilla (1993–1995);

The priest also became National Director of Youth Movements India in 1995–2001, Director of Chittoor Multipurpose Social Service Society (2001–2003); Vicar General of Cuddapah and Parish Priest at Arogya Matha Shrine (2002–2007); Director of St. John's Hospital, Bangalore (2008–2011).

He holds a Doctorate in Sociology from Shri Venkateswara University, Thirupathi, India (2013).

The priest then served as parish priest in Sivadi (2011–2015) and at St. Mary's Cathedral in Cuddapah (2015–2020).

In 2020, he became the parish priest of St. John Bosco in Chittor, and the coordinator of the CCBI Health Apostolate in 2021.

On February 11, Khammam was separated from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Warangal diocese by the Papal Bull ad "perpetuam rei memoriam," which divided the diocese in 1988. It encompasses Khammam's entire revenue district.

The Khammam diocese's first bishop was Most. Rev. Joseph Rajappa became the first bishop of the Khammam Diocese.  The Christian faith in this area has a century-old history.

The mission work was initiated by the PIME missionaries well before 1885 when this area was under the Hyderabad vicariate. The oldest Catholic community brought to faith by Fr. Rolla PIME in Bayyaram village in 1901 remains a historical monument.

Msgr. Vigano's pastoral visits to different places could also impact Christian communities. Because of their strenuous efforts, we can now take pride in having Bayyaram parish because it was the first to yield the first vocation in the diocese and later five more.

The Diocese of Warangal was bifurcated from the Ecclesiastical Territory of Hyderabad into a separate diocese, comprising the districts of Warangal, Khammam, Karimnagar, and Nalgonda, by Pope Pious the XII on December 22, 1952.

The Most Rev. Alphonsus Beretta, PIME, was the first bishop of Warangal. On January 8, 1953, under the dynamic leadership and great vision of Bishop A. Beretta, the Catholic Church in Khammam penetrated interior places. Bishop Beretta set up many schools, dispensaries, and boarding houses and launched other socio-economic developmental schemes. He invited several religious congregations to work in Khammam's rural belt of Khammam.

In 1985, Bishop A. Beretta PIME retired, and in 1987, Bishop Thumma Bala was appointed as the second Bishop of Warangal. Before realizing his plans, Khammam district was declared a diocese in 1988. Bishop Joseph Rajappa was appointed Khammam's first bishop. Unfortunately, he died in the following year, i.e., on December 27, 1989, due to old age and illness.

Rev. Fr. M. Lourdunathan administered the diocese for a couple of years. On January 31, 1992, Fr. Marampudi Joji of Vijayawada diocese was appointed as the second bishop of Khammam.

After four and a half years, he was transferred to Vijayawada on December 18, 1996. Rev. Fr. D. Melchior Raja, PIME, administered the diocese for a couple of months.

On May 30, 1997, Fr. Maipan Paul of the Visakhapatnam diocese was appointed as the third Bishop of Khammam.

On August 27, 2022, Bishop Udumala Bala of the Diocese of Warangal, Telangana State, was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Khammam. With Inputs Pujitha Yadala, RVA Telugu


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