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Thanksgiving Mass held for elevation of Indian Cardinal Poola Anthony

Msgr Kevin Justin, Cardinal Oswald handover the papal bull to Cardinal Poola Anthony on September 15, 2022 at St Mary’s School premises, Secunderabad, south India (Photo by RVA News)

A thanksgiving Mass was held for the elevation of Cardinal Anthony Poola in Hyderabad, south India.
The Archdiocese of Hyderabad on September 15 held a thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the elevation of Poola Anthony, 60, as the first cardinal of two Telugu-speaking states—Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), and 15 bishops, along with over 500 priests and nuns, attended the Mass at St. Mary’s School Premises in Secunderabad, Telangana.
Over 6000 people attended the event. 
Poola was one of 20 new cardinals inducted by Pope Francis on August 27 at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican during a Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals.
Aside from Poola, another Indian prelate was named a new cardinal. Filipe Neri Ferrao, 69, is the Archbishop of Goa and Daman. With the addition of these two new cardinals, India now has six cardinals under the age of 80.
Cardinals from around the world who will serve as the Pope's key advisors or close collaborators, as well as cardinals under the age of 80, will be eligible to vote in the next conclave.
In his homily, Cardinal Gracias said, "A vocation is not something that we apply for; it’s a call that is unexpected; indistinctly, the initiative comes from Jesus." 
The elevation of the archbishop to cardinal is "part of God's grand plan," said Gracias. "It is his mission to build the kingdom of God, established by Poola’s role of leadership."

"Our mission is passionately sought after by the whole person, to transform our lives and give witness to the Gospel in society," the CBCI president said. 
"Cardinal, bishops, priests, and nuns are called to commit to a mission that will change their lives through their service in the church," he added.

The Pearl City of Hyderabad has a new prince of the church now. The Telugu language is popularly known as the "Italian of the East." 

The College of Cardinals previously consisted of 208 cardinals, of whom 117 were electors who elected the Pope. With the latest additions, there are now 229 Cardinals, of whom 131 are electors. 
Cardinal Poola is the first Dalit cardinal and the first cardinal of the Telugu people from the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. "Dalit," or "untouchables," refers to the most disadvantaged group of people under India’s former caste system, often still treated with disrespect today, including in the church at times. His appointment was "good news for Dalit Catholics and the entire church in India."
Born on November 15, 1961, in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, Poola was ordained a priest on February 20, 1992, and was appointed bishop of Kurnool on February 8, 2008. He is the chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Bishops' Conference's youth commission. He was named the Archbishop of Hyderabad on November 19, 2020. - Pujitha Nagalli


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