Father Tom Uzhunnalil appeals to Pope, govt for help….

Dec 27 2016 : Mirror (Mumbai)
Kerala priest appeals to Pope, govt for help

Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted by Daesh in Yemen in March

An Indian Catholic priest abducted from Yemen this year appealed to Pope Francis and the Union government through a purported video to secure his release from his captors.“If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously. I am from India. I am perhaps not considered as of much value,“ said priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil in a weak voice in the video, aired by news channels in Kerala. “Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating,“ he said in the video, a day after Christmas.

Father Uzhunnalil, who looked very weak, appeared to be reading out from a text placed before him.

The veracity of the video, which was uploaded from You tube and Facebook, could neither be independently verified nor was the period when it was shot known.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by terror group Daesh, which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden.

He claimed his captors have made many contacts with the Indian gov ernment ­ the president and the prime minister. “I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard,“ he said.

Father Uzhunnalil said a news reporter abducted in the Middle East was released as she was from France. The Centre says efforts are being made to secure Uzhunnalil’s release, but such attempts take time.


Archdiocese of Mumbai to get two new Auxiliary Bishops;

Pope Francis has appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Bombay: Fr. Allwyn D’Silva (Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Church, Thane) & Fr. Barthol Barretto (Parish Priest of I. C. Church, Borivli).


The Archdiocese of Bombay is pleased to announce that Pope Francis has appointed two new Auxiliary Bishops for this Archdiocese. They are Bishops Elect Fr. Allwyn D’Silva and Fr. Barthol Barretto. The Archdiocese of Bombay will now have four Auxiliary Bishops, the previous appointments being of Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes and Bishop John Rodrigues who were appointed in May 15th 2013. The episcopal ordination ceremony will most likely be held in January 2017.



Fr. Allwyn D’Silva (born 20th April, 1948/ordained priest 19th April, 1975) is presently serving as Parish Priest, St. John the Baptist Church, Thane (West). Actively involved in environmental concerns, he is also Secretary of the Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and is visiting Faculty at the Archdiocesan Seminary for subjects related to pastoral ministry. He served as Episcopal Vicar of the Kurla and Thane Deaneries in 2012 and of the Navi Mumbai and Thane Deaneries from 2013 till date. He was in charge of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Bombay for many years and was the coordinator of the Prison Ministry in our Archdioceses. Two weeks back he was appointed by the FABC as secretary of the office of Human development.

Born to Roland and Rita D’Silva, of Amboli, Fr. Allwyn completed his schooling at St. Blaise High School and holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Mumbai. As part of his priestly ministry he spent 21 years in the slums of Mumbai where he was deeply involved in Human Rights issues, social concerns and more recently in Environmental matters at the local, regional and national levels. The parishes he has served in include: St. Anthony, Vakola, St. Jude, Jeri Meri, St. Jude, Malad (East), St. Anthony, Dharavi, and Our Lady of Nazareth, Bhayandar. Fr. Allwyn was also appointed Dean three times during his ministry: South East Salsette, North Mumbai, and Bhayandar (a deanery, for administrative purposes, is a group of parishes, within a Diocese/Archdiocese, that are in proximity to one another). Among the honorary posts that have been held by him are: Director of Institute for Community Organisation Research; Founder Director of Jagruti Kendra – Jerimeri; Regional Vice-President of International Human Rights Education Consortium; President of South Asian Human Rights Education Consortium; President of Mumbai Initiative on Human Rights Education; Member of Asian Justice and Peace Commission; Member of Executive Committee of Indian Network for Ethics and Climate Change.

Fr. Allwyn has co-edited, published and presented a number of articles and papers. He is also the recipient of awards from: Federation of Centres for Community Organisation; Bombay Catholic Sabha; Dignity Foundation; CPCI award (Human Rights); World Peace Movement Trust; The Examiner Award for Journalism / Golden Pen Award.



Fr. Barthol Barretto (born 16th September, 1961 / ordained priest 8th April, 1989) is currently serving as Parish Priest, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (IC) Church, Borivli (West). Fr. Barthol’s earlier parishes, where he was appointed in different capacities, were: St. Francis Xavier, Dabul, St. Francis Xavier, Panvel, St. Lawrence, Wagle Estate, Thane, St. Thomas, Goregaon. He has also served as Dean of the Thane Deanery and the Borivli Deanery. Prior to his posting to Goregaon, Fr. Barthol served as Secretary to His Eminence, Cardinal Ivan Dias, and later to Cardinal Oswald Gracias. Earlier, he was Director of Youth of the Archdiocese of Bombay. He has recently been particularly active in promoting the Holy Father’s call for the Jubilee Year of Mercy involving his parish in initiatives and outreach that have made a difference. He is visiting Faculty at the Archdiocesan Seminary where he teaches Homiletics and briefly served as the Administrator of the Archdiocesan Seminary. He is currently the vice Chairman of the Priest Council.

The appointments of the new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdioceses of Bombay were announced by Vatican, today, December 20, 2016. These appointments will enrich the Archdiocese tremendously.


Courtesy: Archdiocese of Bombay;

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