Exclusive report and Profile co-ordinated by Gerry D`Mello Muscat
Profile courtesy: Felcy D`Souza, St.Johnís Medical College, Bangalore
His Lordship Bishop Bernard Moras of Belgaum will be installed as the Archbishop of Bangalore at St.Francis Xavier Cathedral grounds on 17th September 2004 at 4.30 p.m. Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, Cardinal Ivan Dias of Mumbai, Major Arch Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil Ė Archdiocese of Ernakulam, Angamaly, 15 Archbishopís, 30 Bishops will grace this unique occasion.
His Grace ArchBishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio will be present and will preside over the installation ceremony. A large number of priests, religious nuns and thousands of faithfuls are expected to attend this rare occasion. Archbishop designate Bishop Rt.Rev.Bernard Moras will be succeeding Archbishop Ignatius Pinto, who had tendered his resignation in May 2000 on completing 75 years which was accepted by Pope John Paul II.
Brief Profile of Bishop Bernard Moras :-
Bishop Bernard Moras was born on 10th Aug. 1941, in Kuppepadavu - a village in Dakshina Kannada to the late Francis Moras and Monthin Moras, who had 9 children - 7 boys and 2 girls. Little did they know that this little boy was destined for great things.
After his schooling, where he showed to be a studious, hardworking, and disciplined student, he joined St. Josephís Seminary on 30th June 1959. Being brought up in an atmosphere of regularity, punctuality and discipline at home, the seminary offered a continuation of the same. He was always ready and willing to perform any job assigned to him to the best of his ability. He was fond of gardening, basketball and social work. He exhibited a strong sense of community orientation and service. His studies in philosophy and theology gave the strong foundation for his priestly life and ministries. During his seminary studies, he was given the charge of Prakashalaya - the Catholic Enquiry Center managed by the seminary. He was also lending a helping hand to the Publication of Jesu Rai Magazine. Quiet by nature, he always enjoyed working behind the scenes.
He was ordained Priest in his home parish at Kuppepadavu on 6th Dec. 1967. His first appointment was to be the Assistant Director of St. Anthonyís charitable institutions. He endeared himself to the inmates by his love and dedication to work. In 1970, he was appointed Assistant Director at Fr. Mullerís Charitable Institutions (Hospital), later to be appointed Director (1975-78) with only one Chaplain to help him. In 1978, he assumed the Post of the Executive Director of the Catholic Hospital Association of India, New Delhi. For a short while he returned back to the diocese of Mangalore to be appointed as acting Parish Priest of Udupi.
In 1980, he was appointed the Administrator of St. Johnís Medical College Hospital. He attended several refresher courses in India and abroad in Hospital Management and Pastoral Care. He also visited many hospitals in India and abroad to gain more knowledge and to do his work efficiently. He contacted funding agencies abroad for financial assistance for the expanding hospital. He started a school of nursing, which blossomed into a full-fledged college of nursing in 1989. He was involved in introducing courses in Hospital Management and Pastoral Care for those involved (priests, nuns and laity) in hospital administration in India.
He was a founder member and President of the Karnataka Voluntary Health Association and also member of the governing bodies of various hospitals and other institutions in Bangalore. His willingness to assist any agency or hospital at any time and in any capacity was remarkable. He was one of the most able Administrators, St. Johnís had. He served this institution for 11 years.
His next appointment was to be Director of Fr. Mullerís Charitable Institutions in Mangalore, which with its new educational branches, was planned to become a Medical College hospital. To establish the Hospital as an educational institution his job was first of all getting permission and recognition from various Governmental agencies. He had to be constantly in touch with the university and with the State and Central Governments. Besides he had to establish necessary infrastructures like: student-hostels, staff residences, additional classrooms, library, laboratories, and purchase new, costly and sophisticated equipments. It involved huge financial investments but he was able to organize funds necessary for them. He was at home with modern techniques of money management.
Efficient business administration reduced unnecessary expenditure. Besides he worked on improving production and sales of homeopathic medicines. Since Fr. Mullerís could not lag behind other medical institutions in Mangalore, he had to constantly update facilities and offer not only specializations but also super specializations in Medicare. He visited the wards regularly to personally assess the care of the patients.
He also evolved a unique master plan for the entire hospital. He planned and started the construction of an entirely, new multistoried building in which both educational courses and the hospital could be accommodated. The cost envisaged for this project went beyond ten crores. He started P. G. Courses in Allopathic and Homeopathic Medicine, Masters in Hospital Administration and various degree courses like Physiotherapy, Laboratory technology and Radiography. Since the hospital had 800 beds and the necessary infrastructure, he received permission from the Government to increase the intake of students for various courses. During his tenure as Director, Fr. Muellerís developed into a premier health care centre in the country with its efficient nursing services, superb cleanliness, prompt response to patient and overall services.
Jesus called Peter and Andrew while they were fishing, Matthew while collecting taxes, James and John while mending their nets. He found Bishop Moras while busy in the work of healing in Hospitals.
Father Moras was consecrated Bishop of Belgaum Diocese on 25th February 1997. He built up the diocese by his hard work and persevering efforts. He planned and executed many projects and carried out many welfare schemes for the benefit of the poor. He has established many educational institutions and social service centers during the past 7 and 1/2 years of service there. As an organizer Bishop Bernard had always been a perfectionist, paying attention to minute details. Under his dynamic leadership Belgaum has become a vibrant diocese in Karnataka.
The success story of Bishop Morasí life is founded on his deep devotion to Christ the Redeemer, the centre of his life and his love for Mother Mary. Now Jesus wants him to be the guide and leader of the Archdiocese of Bangalore and lead it towards healing, holiness and perfection.
His administrative abilities solidly founded on his personal relationship with Jesus will definitely benefit everyone in the Archdiocese. ďA Bishop who is himself holy will most certainly have a following of His Holy Priests, whose holiness will in turn redound to the spiritual perfection of the whole Diocese.Ē (Pope John XXIII). The city of Bangalore is not new to him. His hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. The Lord has chosen him as the Archbishop of Bangalore to serve Him and His people.
Date of Birth: 10/8/1941
Place of Birth: Kuppepadavu, Mangalore
Date of ordination: 6/12/1967
Appointed Bishop of Belgaum: 31/12/1996
Date of Episcopal Consecration: 25/2/1997
Appointed Archbishop of Bangalore: 22/7/2004
Archbishop Bernard Moras is:
- Chairman of the Health Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India
- Chairman of the Governing Board of St. Johnís Medical College and Hospital.
- Ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic Health Association of India.
- Chairman of Karnataka Region Pastoral Plan.
- Chairman of Hubli Hospital for Physically Handicapped.
- Member of the governing board of many charitable institutions and the member of standing committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
Positions held in the past:
May 1968 to June 1970: Asst. Director and Chaplain at St. Anthonyís Poor Homes, Mangalore.
July 1970 to Feb. 1975: Asst. Director at Fr. Mullerís Charitable Institutions (Hospital)
March1975 to July 1978: Director at Fr. Mullerís Charitable Institutions (Hospital)
From Sept. 1978 to Oct 1979: Executive Director of catholic hospital association of India, New Delhi.
Dec 1979 to May 1980: Acting Parish Priest, Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi, Mangalore.
May 1980 to May 1991: Administrator of St. Johnís Medical College Hospital, Bangalore
1981 to 1991: Treasurer, CBCI society for Medical Education of St. Johnís Medical College Hospital, Bangalore
1st June 1991 to Feb. 1997: Director, Fr. Mullerís charitable institutions (Hospital)
25th Feb. 1997 till now: Bishop of Belgaum.
He is member of the governing board of many charitable institutions and the member of the standing committee of the catholic Bishopís conference of India.
He has attended various conferences in India and abroad. Recently he attended 15th HIV/ AIDS International Conference at Bangkok and presented a paper at satellite session on stigma and discrimination and the role of religious.
His Strong points:
Great Faith and trust in the providence of God and His protection
A passionate love to spread the Gospel of Christ, namely justice, peace, love, harmony and brotherhood.
Single-minded devotion to his duty.
Love for the sick, the poor, the downtrodden & the marginalized
Dedicated to the Education and development of the people and children in particular. Availability to all without any restriction, love and respect for people.
AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY ÖÖÖ
His Grace Bishop Moras is known to me from the time of my stay in St. Johnís that is for nearly 2 decades. I am yet to see a more dedicated, sincere and most lovable clergy as he. He was caring to all of us as well as to the patients and other, non-medical staff and went out of his way to help the poor and needy. Above all he was extremely hard working and understood the needs of all his fellow men. I am proud to say I know him well and I know that he will lead the Catholics and all of us in Bangalore in the right path- the path of God.
Dr. Nandakumar Jairam MS., FICS
Former Prof & HOD surgery SJMCH & Consultant, Mallya & St. Philomenía Hospital
I have known Rt.Rev. Bernard Moras, Bishop of Belgaum who has now been appointed as Archbishop of Bangalore for more than! Decade.
Rt. Rev. Bernard Moras as Administrator of St. Johnís Medical College Hospital as Director of Father Mullerís hospital, Mangalore, had rendered wonderful service in both Administration and in improvement of the institutions. I was privileged to personally interact with Bishop Moras, when he was the Director of Fr. Mullerís Hospital, wherein I had personally seen the efficient and dedicated service rendered to the leprosy patients.
When I visited the hospital in Mangalore, I saw the concern shown by Bishop Moras to the most down trodden leprosy patients, for whom there was no one except the hospital as their saviour.
As a person, Bishop Moras, is kind, jovial and friendly person whose enthusiasm is infectious. I am very happy that Bishop Moras has been appointed as Archbishop of Bangalore. I am sure that with his enthusiasm, he would serve with the same concern and dedication as has worked in the past.
Joint Secretary to Government secretariat, Energy Department,
M.S. Building ,Bangalore
I remember Bishop Moras dedicated service to Fr. Mullerís institutions, which under his guidance and directorship grew substantially; I still remember my first meeting with him at St. johnís, Bangalore where I was hand picked by him as the first faculty member in the coming up Fr. Mullers post graduate institution. His hard work and services were recognized, he was chosen by the lord to become the bishop. I witnessed that occasion. Just before his dream of full-fledged medical college got realized, he had to move to Belgaum.
The city of Bangalore is not new to him. His hard work and dedication have not gone un-noticed and the lord has once again chosen Bangalore as his place of service.
Dr. Chandrashekhar S. R. MS, FICS
Specialist in Surgery, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia.
I am very happy to note that Bishop Bernard Moras has been appointed as the Archbishop of Bangalore. I had the privilege of working along with him during his tenure at St. Johnís Medical College Hospital. Bishop Moras would be a great source of leadership to the entire community at Bangalore due to his dynamic vision and ability to get things done in a balanced manner with a long-term perspective in view. He would also provide a healing touch to Bangalore spiritual needs with his kind and compassionate outlook. I wish him the very best in his tenure at Bangalore.
Dr. P. Ranganath Nayak, M.D., DNB., D.M., (Card.)
Interventional Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital & Heart Institute, Bangalore.
My association with Bishop Bernard Moras has been one of happy memories and that of pleasant happenings. During his tenure as the Director of Fr.Mullerís Hospital he invited Prajna Counselling Centre to initiate Vailankani Ward in the premises of Fr.Mullerís Hospital for the rehabilitation of alcoholics. This work was very close to his heart. This is Bishop Moras for all; a man of profound knowledge yet as simple as anybody next door. He had the good will and courage to finish the work he started. Whatever may be the situation, how demanding are the circumstances he never gave up in between. Other than this he had a lot of love for poor and afflicted which he proved time and again by initiating developmental projects in the Hospital which in turn made it possible that people from every walk of life could get treatment in Fr. Mullerís Hospital without any discrimination. He was a true apostle of Christ who spread Good News more in deeds than words. Though blessed with high intellectual capacity, he always consulted others while making important decisions
But more than anything else the striking quality of his is the discipline he showed in life. He was a man of discipline. Along with this he is a hardworking person whose perseverance is remarkable.
So itís not a big surprise that such a man of great spiritual qualities and exemplary simplicity is exalted to the responsible post of Archbishop of Bangalore. He has the in built capacity to carry out this responsibility rightly in a way that will please God and His people. I wish all that is best and whisper prayer that God may grant success in all his future undertakings.