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Pope Francis appoints new bishop of Baroda in Gujarat, India

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CCBI) congratulates New Baroda Bishop Sebastiao Mascarenhas (Photo supplied)

Pope Francis appointed Father Sebastiao Mascarenhas as Baroda’s new bishop on December 31, 2022.

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CCBI), said, "in the name of the Church in Goa and Daman and in my own name, I extend warm congratulations to Father Sebastiao on this new and challenging appointment at the service of the Church. I wish his choicest blessings from God in the carrying out of his newly assigned mission."

63-year-old Father Mascarenhas is a brother of Theodore Mascarenhas, the Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi and the Apostolic Administrator of Daltonganj.

He is a member of the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Pilar).

Newly appointed Bishop Sebastiao Mascarenhas SFX (Photo supplied)

Father Sebastiao speaks six languages: Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, English, German and French.

In the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Father Sebastiao was born in Camurlim, Salcete, on July 29, 1959.

He speaks Konkani as his first language. He studied at Father Angel High School, Pilar, Goa, and then completed his B.A. in English Literature and Economics from St. Francis de Sales College, Nagpur.

He studied Philosophy at St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur on 1976 to 1979.

He pursued theological studies at the All-India Mission Seminary, Pilar, Goa, between 1980 and 1984.

He obtained a Licentiate in Missiology in 1994 from the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule, Sankt Augustin, Germany (2000).

In the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Pilar), he professed his first religious vows on June 20, 1976, and was ordained a priest on May 06, 1984, at Pilar, Goa.

In addition to being Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Velankani Church, Vapi, he served as Principal of Mother of Hope School, Vapi, Gujarat (1984-1992).

After serving as assistant parish priest at Our Lady of Piety Church, Silvassa, and principal at Father Angel High School, Silvassa (1988 - 1990), he served as Chaplain in Shelti, Nagar Haveli (1990-1992). Then he completed his graduate studies in Germany (1992-1994). He was also a visiting professor at the Mission Seminary, Pilar Goa (1994-1996).

As soon as he returned to India, he was appointed Chaplain at Dudhni, Nagar Haveli, and Principal of St. Xavier's School.

He earned his doctorate in Systematic Theology in Germany from 1996 to 2000. From 2000 to 2002, he was an animator and professor at Mission Seminary, Pilar, Goa, then Rector, Mission Seminary, Pilar, Goa (2002-2009), and Superior General (2017 - August 2022). - By Anbu Selvam


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