Lucknow: Msgr Ambrose Madtha Consecrated Archbishop
Report and pics by Jessie Rodrigues
Daijiworld Media Network - Lucknow (SP)
Lucknow, Jul 28: With great joy, the Catholic Diocese of Lucknow celebrated the Episcopal ordination of Msgr Ambrose Madtha, recently-appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast by Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for inter-religious dialogue was the principal Consecrator while Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra and Bishop Gerald J Mathias of Lucknow were the co-consecrators. The ordination ceremony was graced by 16 Bishops from India and abroad, among whom were Bishop Decouray from Ivory Coast, Archbishop Thomas from Kumasi in Ghana and two Bishops from Taiwan. A special presence was that of Bishop Aloysius D’Souza of Mangalore.
The solemn but devotional ordination ceremony was attended by over 120 priests from the north Indian dioceses, from Mangalore and from abroad, who also concelebrated the Eucharist and with the participation of over 1,600 sisters, brothers and laity from within the diocese, from Mangalore, Mumbai, China, Germany and from other places. The family of Archbishop Ambrose was represented by his younger brother, Fr Henry Madtha of Chikmagalur, Sr Bridget of the FMM Congregation and Sr Therese of St Joseph of Tarbes and also by close relatives and friends.
The Cardinal in his homily spoke, basing himself on Prophet Jeremiah, on the election ‘from his mother’s womb’ of Msgr Ambrose as also of his three siblings who followed him into religious life and reminded the new Apostolic Nuncio of his responsibilities as the representative of the Holy Father in Ivory Coast.
It was a very fulfilling and spiritual moment when the Cardinal Tauran laid hands on a kneeling Archbishop Ambrose Madtha followed by other Bishops and when the principal Consecrator handed over the Ring, the Mitre and the pastoral staff to the newly-consecrated Archbishop. At the end of the Mass, the new Archbishop Msgr Ambrose Madtha briefly reminisced his life and speaking in English, Hindi, German, French, Chinese and Konkani, thanked various people who had led him to this day with their prayers, love and affection. The diocesan choir sang melodious hymns, including the ‘Missa de Angelis’ in Latin, adding devotional hue to the entire liturgy, which was very prayerful. There was also a message read on behalf of the Apostolic Nuncio in India, Msgr Pedro Lopez Quintana, who was scheduled to be present but could not, due to unavoidable circumstances.
The ordination ceremony was followed by lunch for all those who attended the sacred rite. Speaking to the press at the end of the functions, Archbishop Ambrose spoke of his loyalty and devotion to the person of the Holy Father and promised to live his life fully at the service of the Church and said that his heart was full of sentiments of gratitude to one and all for the well-organized liturgy and the day’s other programmes