Profile and Interview by Walter Nandalike [Editor -in - Chief, daijiworld.com]
Archbishop Vincent Concessao is another Mangalorean personality who holds top religious position in the country. I had the opportunity of meeting this Puttur-born noble religious leader, Archbishop Concessao, at Mumbai Airport some days ago.
ARCHBISHOP VINCENT MICHAEL CONCESSAO
Born in the diocese of Mangalore in 1936, Archbishop Vincent Concessao completed his schooling and Seminary studies there and after ordination in 1961 came to Delhi in 1962.
After working as Assistant at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi, he was sent to Loyola University, Chicago for post-graduate studies in Sociology. Having completed his studies there and also having participated in a summer course on Development Studies at the Coady International Institute, he returned to Delhi.
In 1970, he was appointed Diocesan Director of Social Action. He set up the organization, now called Chetanalaya, and took up various projects for relief in times of disasters like floods, rehabilitation of the displaced persons and development of the poor, focusing particularly on the slum-dwellers rehabilitated in the Resettlement Colonies in Delhi.
During this period he was also the Parish Priest in Madangir for six years, thereafter Rector of Pratiksha, residence for theology students and Leader of the Team to set up a new mission in Rohtak and President of the Catholic
Priests Conference of India.
In 1991 he was transferred as the Parish Priest of the Cathedral until he was elected Vicar General when Archbishop Alan de Lastic took over as Archbishop of Delhi. In 1995 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi and in 1998 transferred to Agra as the Archbishop there. On the passing away of Archbishop Alan de Lastic he was appointed Archbishop of Delhi in the year 2000.
He was the Vice President I of the CBCI from the year 2000 to 2004.
At present he is - President of the National United Christian Forum President of the F.A.B.C. Office for Evangelization President of the Regional Bishop's Conference of the Northern Region Working President of the Foundation for Religious Harmony and Universal Peace President of the Holy Family Hospital Chairman of the Regional Commissions for Justice & Peace, SC/ST/OBC and North Indian Social Forum.
He is keenly involved in organizations committed to social development and inter-faith dialogue.
From L to R: Albert D`Souza (Printania Mumbai) , Walter Nandalike (Daijiworld), Arch Bishop Concessao, Bishop Patric D`Souza (Jhansi Diocese)
It was a privilege of a coincidence when I, along with Albert D`Souza (of Printania, Mumbai) and his family, were just about to board the Indian Airlines flight to Mangalore. To our sudden dismay, just 10 minutes before the scheduled departure, we came to know that the flight was cancelled!
When we were planning to make an alternative arrangement to travel to Mangalore,we met the Archbishop of New Delhi Rev Dr Vincent Concessao and Bishop of Jhansi Rev Dr Patrick D`Souza along with a couple of other priests from Allahabad diocese.
This is where I came to know about a down-to-earth religious leader, Archbishop in a simple layman's dress, and displaying simplicity no one would have ever imagined, in spite of holding a high position in New Delhi region.
He was on his way to take part in the World Convention of the Mangalorean Konkani Catholics, which was held in the last week in December last year, in Mangalore.
With the help of Albert D`Souza, we managed to catch a flight to Goa and then we all travelled from Goa to Mangalore by road. To m