Grassroots worker priests ordained as bishops
Fr Allwyn D’Silva and Fr Barthol Barretto said “I do” to ten questions before being ordained auxiliary bishop by the archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias.
Bella Jaisinghani| TNN | Updated: Jan 28, 2017, 09.49 PM
MUMBAI: Approximately 10,000 Catholics assembled in the grounds of Don Bosco School, Matunga, Saturday evening to watch two priests take a very special vow. Fr Allwyn D’Silva and Fr Barthol Barretto said “I do” to ten questions before being ordained auxiliary bishop by the archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias.
“The gospel was placed above our heads, and we received the bishop’s ring, mitre (cap) and staff which symbolises the shepherd herding his flock,” Fr Allwyn said.
The appointments were announced by Pope Francis December 20. Both Fr Allwyn and Fr Barthol are grassroots workers who have earned the respect and love of their people. Both will continue to serve their respective parishes at St John the Baptist Church, Thane, and Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Borivli, until May 31.
Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesman of the archdiocese of Bombay, said, “Cardinal Gracias was principal consecrator at the ceremony while Bishop Bosco Penha and archbishop Vincent Concessao were co-consecrators. We hosted 10 bishops from the western region. Around 10,000 spectators arrived not just from Thane and Borivli but from places where Fr Allwyn and Fr Barthol have served previously.:”
Fr Allwyn with 21 years of work in Mumbai’s slums is a champion of environmental causes. He is secretary of the FABC Climate Change Desk. His chosen motto is ‘Care for Creation’. His parishioners hired 12 buses to reach the venue Saturday.
Parishioners of I C Church and neighbouring localities led a caravan of 19 buses to cheer Fr Barthol Barretto. Born September 16, 1961, Fr Barthol studied at St Michael’s School, Mahim, and went on to graduate in history.
“I am grateful to God for giving me this fresh opportunity to serve the people. More so, my parishioners and the people of our archdiocese are happy and pleased. My chosen motto is ‘Love in Action’,” said Fr Barthol. Once he leaves Borivli in May, his people will be sorry to lose the priest with “golden heart and silver hair.”