Pope Francis appointed Father Thomas J. Netto as the new archbishop of Trivandrum Latin Archdiocese in southern Indian State of Kerala on February 2, according to a press statement issued by Father Stephen Alathara deputy secretary general of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India.
The prelate-elect Netto was born on December 29, 1964, in Puthiyathura in the Archdiocese of Trivandrum, and was ordained a priest on December 19, 1989, for the same Archdiocese.
After attending St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary in Trivandrum (1980-1983), he studied Philosophy at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, followed by Theology at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha, Alwaye, Kerala.
He holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Kerala and, in 1999, he obtained a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology (Ecclesiology) from the Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Rome.
He served the Archdiocese in the following ministries: assistant priest at Peringamala (1990-1991), assistant priest at Palayam (1991-1995), executive secretary for ecumenism and dialogue (1994-1995).
From 1995 to 1999, he completed his studies in Rome. He was then appointed parish priest in Pettah (1999-2003), executive secretary of the BCC (2000-2004), Rector of St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Trivandrum (2003-2010), parish priest in Thope and ministries coordinator (2010-2014), episcopal vicar for ministries (2014-2017), parish priest of St. Augustine Church, Murukumpuzha and editor of the diocesan magazine (2017-2021).
Since 2007, he is a member of the College of Consultors; and from 2021, Episcopal Vicar and coordinator of ministries.
The new-designated archbishop succeeds Archbishop M. Calist Soosa Pakiam, the outgoing prelate of the Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum. Pakiam headed the archdiocese since February 2, 1990.
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