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India: New Bishops for Kottapuram, Amaravti, Gumla and Daltonganj Dioceses

New Bishops for Kottapuram, Amaravti, Gumla, and Daltonganj Dioceses

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Ambrose Puthenveettil (56) as the Bishop of Kottapuram diocese, Kerala, south India.

Father Malcolm Sequeira (62), priest of the diocese of Poona, is the bishop of the Amravati diocese in Maharashtra, south India.

Father Linus Pingal Ekka (61) is the Bishop of Gumla diocese in Jharkhand, eastern India.

The Holy See has appointed Theodore Mascarenhas (63), S.F.X., the Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi and the Apostolic Administrator of Daltonganj, as the Bishop of Daltonganj diocese in Jharkhand, eastern India.

Father Ambrose Puthenveettil, New Bishop of Kottapuram

Father Puthenveettil was born on August 21, 1967, in Palliport, in the Diocese of Kottapuram.

He studied philosophy at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute in Bangalore and theology at the Collegium Canisianum in Innsbruck, Austria.

He obtained a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Leopold-Franzens-Universität in Innsbruck and a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. On June 11, 1995, he received ordination as a priest for the Diocese of Kottapuram.

He held the following positions: Secretary to the Bishop (1995-1996); Substitute at St. Vincent Ferrer (1996); Deputy Parish Priest of St. Don Bosco (1996-1998); Vice Rector of the St. Francis Assisi Minor Seminary (1998-2001); Deputy Parish Priest of Our Lady of Snow (2007-2008); Professor at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary in Aluva (2008-2014); Vice Rector of St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary in Aluva (2014-2017); Rector of St. Antony’s Minor Seminary (2017-2019); Parish Priest of St. Michaele Cathedral and Vicar Forane (2019-2022); since 2022, Rector of St. Antony’s Shrine.

The diocese of Kottapuram has a population of about 96,950 Latin Catholics and an area of 3300 sq. km.

The diocese has 61 parishes, 132 diocesan priests, 92 religious priests, 253 nuns,  and 108 educational institutions. On July 3, 1987, the diocese of Kottapuram was created by bifurcating the northern part of the Archdiocese of Verapoly.

Father Malcolm Sequeira, New Bishop of Amaravati

Father Sequeira was born on November 4, 1961, in Giriz, in the Diocese of Vasai. He studied philosophy and theology at St. Pius X College in Mumbai. The Diocese of Poona ordained him as a priest on April 13, 1996.

He has held the following positions: priestly assistant at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1996–1998); diocesan director of the Basic Christian Communities (1998–2003); a license in social communications from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (2005); since 2005, diocesan director for social communications and head of public relations; rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral (2008–2013); since 2009, diocesan consultant; since 2012, Vicar General; Director of the Property Office (2013–2016); parish priest of the Divine Mercy Church (2016–2019); and since 2019, parish priest of St. Anne’s Church.

Bishop Elias Gonsalves' appointment as the Archbishop of Nagpur on December 3, 2018, left the diocese of Amaravati vacant. The Archdiocese of Nagpur bifurcated it on May 8, 1955. The diocese included the four districts of Vidarbha, namely Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, and Yavatmal, as well as the three districts of Marathwada, namely Aurangabad, Parbhani, and Nanded.

It has an area of 46,090 square kilometers, and the Catholic population is 15,680. There are 20 parishes, 36 diocesan priests, 23 religious priests, and 238 nuns.

Father Linus Pingal Ekka, new bishop of Gumla

Father Pingal Ekka was born on September 23, 1961, in Chainpur, in the Diocese of Gumla.

He attended the Master of Arts program at St. Aloysius College in Jabalpur and obtained a licentiate in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. The Diocese of Gumla ordained him as a priest on January 22, 1994.

He held the following positions and carried out further studies: Deputy Parish Priest and then Parish Priest of Dalmadi (1994-1995); Rector of the Karondabera Preparatory Seminary (1995-1997 and 1999-2000); Doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, while carrying out pastoral service in the Archdiocese of Udine (1997-1999); Guest professor at St. Albert’s Regional College in Ranchi (2000-2002); Residential professor and Prefect of the Philosophy department at St. Albert’s Regional College in Ranchi (2002-2011); Parish Vicar in Ampezzo, in the Archdiocese of Udine (2011-2017); Chanceller of the Diocese of Gumla and in charge of matrimonial cases (2017-2020); Judicial Vicar and Judge of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal (2019-2020); since 2021, Diocesan Administrator of Gumla.

The Diocese of Gumla became vacant with the death of Bishop Paul Alois Lakra on June 15, 2021. The Archdiocese of Ranchi created it on May 28, 1993. It has a Catholic population of 1,93,000, 38 parishes, 138 diocesan priests, 92 religious priests, 371 nuns, and 346 institutions.

Theodore Mascarenhas is the new bishop of Daltonganj.

Bishop Mascarenhas was born on November 9, 1960, in Camurlim, Archdiocese of Goa. He studied philosophy at St. Charles Seminary in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and theology at the All-India Mission Seminary of the Society of Pilar, Goa.

He holds a Master of Arts in political science from Nagpur University and a licensure and doctorate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. He received ordination as a priest on April 24, 1988.

Since his ordination, he has held several pastoral roles, including 1988–1993: pastoral work in Punjab, North India, in parishes and two schools as Vice-Principal and Principal; 1994-2001: Studies for the Licentiate and Doctorate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; 1998-2004: Coordinator of the works of the Society of Pilar in Rome; 2005: superior delegate for the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier in Europe; 2006: Official of the Pontifical Council for Culture; since 2010: procurator general of the Society of St. Francis Xavier, member of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses, and lecturer in sacred scripture at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome

At the age of 53, he became the auxiliary bishop of Ranchi on July 9, 2014, and was ordained bishop on August 3, 2014. He was the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) from March 2016 to June 2019. He is currently the Chairman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)  Commission for Ecology.

In 2016, Bishop Gabriel Kujur, S.J., resigned, leaving the Diocese of Daltonganj vacant. On July 7, 2016, Bishop Anand Jojo of Hazaribag was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Daltonganj.


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