Bishops

Oswald Cardinal Gracias

ARCHBISHOP OF MUMBAI

 

His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias (born 24th December, 1944) was ordained a Priest on 20th December, 1970 and ordinated as Bishop on the 16th of September, 1997. He is the Archbishop of Bombay, having been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 14th October, 2006 and raised to the cardinalate in 2007. In 2010, he was elected as the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (having been the vice-president from 2008).Cardinal Gracias is also Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference. On 13 April 2013 he was appointed among the group of eight cardinals established by Pope Francis, exactly a month after his election, to advise him and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, 'Pastor Bonus'.

 

Early Life and Ordination

Cardinal Gracias was born in Bombay on the 24th of December, 1944 to Jervis and Aduzinda Gracias. He completed his schooling at St. Michael's School in Mahim and joined the Jesuit run St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. After a year, he entered the Seminary of St. Pius X in Bombay, where he studied philosophy and theology. Gracias was ordained to the priesthood by Valerian Cardinal Gracias, the then Archbishop of Bombay on 20th December, 1970. From 1971 to 1976, he served as Chancellor and Secretary to Bishop Joseph Rodericks, SJ, of Jamshedpur.

 

Work at the Diocesan Level

Cardinal Gracias then furthered his studies at Rome, attending the Pontifical Urbaniana University from 1976 to 1982; he obtained a doctorate in canon law, and a diploma in jurisprudence. Upon his return to Bombay, he was named Chancellor, Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal, and Judicial Vicar. From 1982, he was the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Bombay, and from 1988 he was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese, a visiting professor to the seminaries of Bombay, Poona, and Bangalore, as well as serving as President of the Canon Law Society of India.

 

Bishop and Archbishop

On 28 June 1997, Gracias was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and Titular Bishop of Bladia by Pope John Paul II. He received his Episcopal consecration on 16th September, 1997 from Archbishop Ivan Dias, with Bishops Ferdinand Fonseca and Bosco Penha serving as co-consecrators. Gracias was later named Archbishop of Agra on 7th September, 2000 and Archbishop of Bombay on 14th October, 2006. He also served as Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), and is currently the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India (Latin rite).

 

Cardinal

On 17th October 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would elevate Gracias and twenty-two other prelates to the College of Cardinals. At the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica on 24th November 2007, Oswald Gracias was created Cardinal-Priest of S. Paolo della Croce a "Corviale".

On 20th February 2008, Cardinal Gracias was elected 1st Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) of which he had earlier served as Secretary General.

Like all cardinals, Gracias is a member of various offices of the Roman Curia, and is invited to attend their plenary meetings, which in principle are held every year. Appointments are for five years and are renewable. In May 2008, Pope Benedict named him a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and, on 6th July 2010, of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

 

Cardinal Oswald Gracias Elected Secretary General FABC

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India was elected FABC Secretary General by the Presidents of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The FABC is an apex body representing 19 Bishop's Conferences comprising 28 of their Asian member countries like the other Bishops' Conferences of South America, Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Federation coordinates the work of the Church in these countries and represents Asia before the Vatican and Government authorities. The Central Secretariat is located in Hong Kong and is the principal service agency of FABC, and an instrument of co-ordination both within FABC and with outside offices and agencies in countries all through Asia. 

 

The Coat of Arms
The coat of arms was designed and adopted when Cardinal Gracias was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay.

The Coat of Arms - Oswald Cardinal Gracias  

Escutcheon
Washing of the feet, Letter M, Scales of Justice and Handshake

 

Motto

To Reconcile All Things in Christ

 

Symbolism

Washing of the feet: symbolizes a commitment to service; Letter M: Represents devotion to Mary; Scales of Justice: Church Law– his field of specialization; Handshake: stands for reconciliation and building bridges of communion.

 

Footnote: Titular Sees: Since Auxiliary Bishops do not have independent Dioceses under their charge, they are granted Titular Sees (in title only) of Dioceses which at one time flourished but are now no longer functional, as such.

Bishops


Auxiliary Bishops

Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias

AUXILIARY BISHOP OF BOMBAY

Originally from Colva, Goa, Bishop Agnelo Gracias was born in Mombasa, Kenya, Africa, on July 30, 1939. After finishing his priestly studies through the diocesan seminary, Parel and St Pius X College, Goregaon, he was ordained priest on December 21, 1962. After serving as an assistant at Holy Name Cathedral from June 1, 1963 to May 31, 1971 he was deputed to Rome for further studies - Doctorate in Spiritual Theology - between 1971-1975. Upon his return, he joined the St Pius X College as professor and spiritual director on June 1, 1975. On June 1, 1985 he was appointed the Rector of St Pius X College and held the position till May 31, 1993.

He served as parish priest at St Michael's Church, Mahim from June 1, 2000 to February 2001. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay on March 13, 2001 and ordained bishop by Cardinal Ivan Dias on April 21, 2001. On February 28, 2002 he was elected Chairman, CBCI Family Commission, Jalandar. He became Archdiocesan Consulter on August 1, 2007 and was appointed Pontifical Commissary Heralds of Good News on January 16, 2008.

In January 2011, Bishop Agnelo was appointed Chairman, CCBI Doctrinal Commission and on June 1, 2011 was once again appointed the Rector of St Pius X College, Goregaon till May 31, 2013.

He currently resides at the Archbishop’s House, Fort and oversees the Small Christian Communities. He is responsible for the general administration of the Archdiocese and is also Convenor of the Archdiocesan Proclamation Commission for Faith Evangelisation (Shrines, Parishes, Schools).

Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes

AUXILIARY BISHOP OF BOMBAY

Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes, the son of Helen and the Late Anthony Cajetan Fernandes was born on January 29, 1954. He was ordained a priest on April 8, 1989 and holds a degree in Canon Law. Having served in several Churches, he has also been a judge on the Marriage Tribunal and was appointed briefly as Secretary to Cardinal Ivan Dias and later as Chancellor on the completion of his specialization. He is also the Chairperson of the Priests’ Council of the Archdiocese, Secretary to the College of Consultors, is on the Executive Committee of the Conference for Diocesan Priests of the Archdiocese of Bombay and the Episcopal Vicar for the Lay Apostolate.

In May 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis announced him as the new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Bombay. 

The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Cozila. He is Apostolic Vicar for the Laity, the Family and the Women’s Commissions.

The Coat of Arms
The Heart: God’s all embracing love.
The Holy Spirit: God’s strengthening presence.
The Rosary: Mary our model of surrender to God’s will.
The open hands touching the Heart: Response to God’s love through loving service.
The hands also form a bowl symbolising the washing of the feet (Love in action).
The Coat of Arms - Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes

Bishop John Rodrigues

AUXILIARY BISHOP OF BOMBAY

John Rodrigues, the son of Late Stanley and Corinne Rodrigues was born on August 21, 1967 in Bandra. He was ordained a priest on April 18, 1998 and for a brief stint served as a Secretary at Archbishop’s House. He specialized in Dogmatic Theology in Rome and has been Dean of Studies at the Seminary. He is also Secretary of the Priests’ Council, is on the Executive Committee of the Conference for Diocesan Priests of the Archdiocesan of Bombay and in charge of the Diocesan programmes for the Year of Faith.

In May 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis announced him as the new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Bombay. He is currently the Rector of St. Pius College, the Diocesan seminary. 

The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Deulto. In addition to the offices already mentioned, he is Apostolic Vicar for the Liturgy, Youth, and continues as Rector of the Seminary.

The Coat of Arms
"...the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ."  Eph 4:12

The Coat of Arms - Bishop John Rodrigues

As wheat grains are transformed at the Eucharist, so also the members of the Church grow to be the Body of Christ in the world, radiating the compassion of their crucified Saviour. The green leaves of the open book represent the study and teaching of theology as well as the role of the bishop as teacher of faith.

The whole of creation (sheaves) is called to give glory to God (golden arc).

Retired Bishops

Bishop Ferdinand Joseph Fonseca

AUXILIARY BISHOP EMERITUS OF BOMBAY

Bishop Ferdinand J. Fonseca was born to Jose and Julia Fonseca on the 2nd of December 1925 in Umerkhadi, Mumbai. His parents were originally from Carona, Aldona, Bardez, Goa. He studied in St.Joseph's High School, Umerkhadi, completed his Matriculation in 1942 and went on to complete his B.A. from St. Xavier's College, Bombay where he passed with honours in Latin in 1946.

He joined the Archdiocesan seminary in Parel in 1946, a year before Independence. He completed a year of Regency in Mhow, M.P. where he learnt Hindi. He was ordained a priest on the 5th December, 1954. Soon after, Bishop Ferdinand was asked to complete his B.Ed. following which he served as Assistant Parish Priest in four parishes and Principal of three attached high schools, St Francis Xavier (Vile Parle), Sacred Heart (Santa Cruz), Our Lady of Victories (Mahim), and Our Lady of Glory (Byculla). He held many other responsible roles such as Director of the Sodality, the Legion of Mary and Alcoholics Anonymous at various times.

In 1972, he was sent to study a course in Spirituality and Counseling at the Gregorian in Rome and at Loyola University, Chicago. He joined the Seminary staff at St.Pius X College, Goregaon as Rector. This was a period of many changes as a result of the Second Vatican Council.

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay on 28th March, 1980 and consecrated Bishop on 29th June, 1980 at Our Lady of Victories Mahim. He chose to be ordained a Bishop in Our Lady of Victories church, because of his devotion to Our Lady. He served this post for 20 years with the responsibility of leading the religious (priests and nuns), and retired in 2000.

(Information on Bishop Ferdinand compiled from Fr Joseph Thenasseril’s book: "A Human Being Among (not above) Other Human Beings.”)

Bishop Percival J. Fernandez

AUXILIARY BISHOP EMERITUS OF BOMBAY

Bishop Percival J. Fernandez was born on 20th December 1935 in Mangalore. He joined the seminary in the year 1952 and completed his Latin, Humanities and Philosophy courses at the Diocesan Seminary situated at that time at Parel. In 1957, he went to the Theological College at Bandra, situated in the present Pastoral Centre, to study three years of Theology. His final year of theology in 1960 was completed at St Pius X College, Goregaon where the Parel and Bandra sections of the Seminary were ultimately shifted.

He was ordained a priest of Bombay Archdiocese on 21st December 1960.

After serving at the Parish level and as Principal, he was placed in charge of the Bangla Desh Refugee Relief in Mumbai from 1971 to 1972, and was the Director of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Bombay from 1972 to 1975.  In 1973 he was placed in charge of the Maharashtra Drought Relief and the Uganda Refugee Relief Work.

From 1978 to 1985, Bishop Percival served as the Administrative Officer of St. John's Medical College in Bangalore. During his term there, from 1980 to 1983, he proceeded for higher studies to the USA and completed his Masters in Business and Public Administration (MBPA) as also a PhD in Health Management. From 1985 to 2000, Bishop Percival served St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore as its Director and Chief Executive.

On March 13, 2001 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for Bombay Archdiocese and titular bishop of Bulla and received his Episcopal ordination on 21 April 2001. Bishop Fernandez is one of the Vicar Generals with special charge of the Religious in the Bombay Archdiocese. He also serves as the Chairperson of the Commission for Education and Culture in Western Region Bishops' Council. He was Founding- Director of St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, of which he is the current Chairman. 

Bishop Bosco Penha

AUXILIARY BISHOP EMERITUS OF BOMBAY

Bishop Bosco Penha was born January 10, 1937, in Mumbai. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese on December 20, 1967. On May 15, 1987, he was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and his Episcopal ordination followed on August 8. He is one of the Archdiocese's Vicar Generals, with special responsibility for the laity. Bishop Penha also chairs the Western Regional Bishops' Commission for Laity and Small Christian Communities.

He was the Director of Small Christian Communities (SSC) in the Archdiocese. The SCC project entered the Archdiocese through what is known as the Bombay Priests' Synod of 1980 which made a declaration that every parish and every priest would give a priority to the building of Small Christian Communities. This was the brainchild of Bishop Bosco Penha.

The work began in a systematic manner in June 1984, and over the last 30 years it has grown in strength and stature. As a result, almost every parish in the Archdiocese is now structured into SCCs.

Episcopal Vicars

Fr Caesar D'mello

EPISCOPAL VICAR
South Mumbai and Bandra Deaneries

Fr. Allwyn D’Silva

EPISCOPAL VICAR
Thane and Navi Mumbai Deaneries

Fr. Felix D’Souza

EPISCOPAL VICAR
North Mumbai and Kurla Deaneries

Fr Barthol S. Machado

EPISCOPAL VICAR
Borivli and Bhayandar Deaneries

Fr Harold Vaz

EPISCOPAL VICAR
Central Suburbs and Andheri Deaneries

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