Inputs courtesy CBCI, New Delhi
Pics Rons Bantwal, Daijiworld News Network - Mumbai
Mumbai, Dec 15: Archbishop Oswald Gracias, former Metropolitan of Agra and President of CCBI was installed as Archbishop of Bombay on Thursday.
Bishop Bosco Penha, axilliary bishop, had served as the archdiocesan administrator during the interim period.
Archbishop Gracias, a reputable Canon Law expert, succeeds Cardinal Ivan Dias who was transferred to the Vatican as President of the Pontifical Congregation for Propagation of Faith.
Archbishop Oswald Gracias was born in Mahim, Mumbai, on December 24, 1944 and he did his school studies at St. Michael’s, Mahim. He completed his seminary studies at St Pius College, Goregaon and was ordained a priest on December 20, 1970.
After a short stint as Chancellor to the Diocese of Jamshedpur and Secretary to its bishop, he returned to Mumbai. From 1977 to 1981, he was in Rome where he obtained the Doctorate in Canon Law and a Diploma in Jurisprudence.
Views of the gathering
He returned to Mumbai where he was first appointed Secretary to the Archbishop of Bombay and Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
In 1997, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay. He was ordained a bishop on September 16, 1997 at St Michael’s, Mahim taking as his motto, “To Reconcile All Things in Christ”. Archbishop Ivan Dias was the chief consecrator. On that occasion, two Cardinals, twenty four Archbishops and Bishops from different parts of the country and over three hundred priests concelebrated at the Eucharist.
Archbishop being felicitated by a Sister of Charity
Former police commissioner Julio Rebeiro and Dolphy D'Souza of BCS
Former police commissioner Ronald H Mendonca and Albert D'Souza of Printania
Union minister Oscar Fernandes and wife Blossom
In 2000, he was appointed Archbishop of Agra.
As the Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, Archbishop Oswald Gracias was Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).
Besides, he was the President of Canon Law Society of India (1987-1991, 1993-1997), Consultor for CBCI Doctrinal Committee (1990-1994), Consultor for CCBI Commission for Interpretation of Legislative Texts (1992-1997) and Consultor to Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Rome (1997).
Currently, he is the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).
Also, he is the Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Social Communications and National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training (NISCORT)
He is also a popular visiting Professor of Canon Law in many seminaries of India.
"His appointment is truly a joyous homecoming, and the Archdiocese welcomes back a son of the city, a Mumbaikar!," said the statement issued by the Bombay Archdiocesan Catholic Communications Centre when he was transferred to Bombay on October 14, 2006.