MUMBAI Archdiocese gets two more Auxiliary Bishops;

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.

| 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.”



Cardinal Gracias denounces acquittal of nun’s alleged rapists

“this acquittal once again brings to our attention the problem of violence against women. It is a huge setback for all of us working for the rights and dignity of women, in particular victims of violence.” ….Cardinal;

Protest against rape - AFP

Protest against rape – AFP

Courtesy: Radio Vatican
The acquittal of the alleged rapists of a Catholic nun in India’s Chhattisgarh state “is a grave injustice, not only for our consecrated, but also for all women who have suffered a similar trauma”, said Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay.   The prelate who is also president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) was commenting to AsiaNews on the release of the two criminals accused of having drugged, tied up and gang raped the 48-year old sister of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI), ‎at the nuns’ medical centre in the state capital, Raipur, in June 2015.The accused, 19 year-old Dinesh Dhurv, and 25-year old Jitendra Pathak, were released by a fast-track court on January 5 because of lack of evidence.  Cardinal Gracias believes that investigations were compromised beyond repair by the “half hearted attitude of the police,” who failed to protect the crime scene and did not collect the traces of the attackers from the victim’s body.  According to Card. Gracias, “this acquittal once again brings to our attention the problem of violence against women. It is a huge setback for all of us working for the rights and dignity of women, in particular victims of violence.”  “India’s Catholic Church will demand justice from a higher court. We will challenge the verdict on appeal,” the cardinal stated.

The state representatives of the Congress party and the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum have called the incident a “systematic attack against minorities in the State”. For its part, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has reported  that such incidents raise serious questions about the safety and protection of minorities in India.  Since the beginning, the Christian leaders have complained about serious shortcomings in the conduct of enquiry by investigators, who had not collected blood, urine and other fluid samples to determine the hallucinogenic substance used to dope the missionary.  Cardinal Gracias warned that their acquittal would bring serious social consequences and could create problems of public order. “The worrying fact is that low conviction rates inflict damage and represent a danger for the victims and for society as a whole,” he said.

(Source: AsiaNews)

Serve after death: Christian priests lead the way….

As priests in the city preach organ donation, more community members open up to donating their bodies and organs to hospitals after death.

“They cleared any doubts people had. There is some apprehension about organ donation in the community which needs to be addressed,” Bishop Agnelo Gracias;

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published:January 1, 2017 2:22 am
Courtesy: The Indian EXPRESS

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Bishop Agnelo Gracias says there is growing awareness among his parishioners to not spend money to destroy trees for coffins, but to be able to serve after death.It was December 24, 1996. The gathering at a church in Bandra saw Father Francis Miranda’s body taken away not in a coffin to the cemetery where it would have been laid to rest, but to JJ Hospital. The priest had wished to be “of service to mankind” in some form after death. In the nineties, it was still early days in India for organ transplants. And so Father Miranda had pledged his entire body to the JJ Hospital’s medical college for academic research.

Two decades later, the trend has grown enormously in the Christian community. Led by the priestly class, more and more members of the faith are now willing to pledge their organs in the eventuality of brain-stem deaths, a condition mandatory for cadaver organ transplant under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.

At 77, Bishop Agnelo Gracias is passionate about his decision to donate every possible organ. On September 9, 1982, he visited JJ Hospital to meet the dean.

“The dean showed me where my body would be kept if I decided to donate it after death. And I thought I would like to be of help to mankind. I told my family about my intention to donate after I die,” he says.

Attached with the Archbishop’s House in Colaba, Gracias recently also pledged his organs for transplant if he suffers a brain-stem death. “If someone can see through my eyes, or use my kidney to live longer, that would be service to God,” he adds. He has written about organ donation in parish magazines to encourage the community, spoken about it during mass or during interaction with people to make them understand its importance. According to him, there is growing awareness on not spending money to destroy trees for coffins but to be able to serve after death.

The intention echoes. Since October 2014, after Pope Francis spoke about organ donation as a “testimony of love”, Gracias has been using those words to spread the message. Like him, the Archbishop of Mumbai, Oswald Gracias, has also pledged his organs after death.

In 2016, the city witnessed 58 cadaver organ donations, the highest so far, that helped 91 kidney failure patients, 58 chronic liver failure cases and 34 heart patients. With community leaders including priests promoting the cause, the numbers look set to rise further in 2017.

On August 23, when Jacarine Alex suffered a brain haemorrhage immediately after leading a prayer in Saki Naka, her son Father Ryan Alex decided to donate her organs. “I studied the church’s stand on it. My family did not know much about organ donation when I shared the idea,” says Alex, from Our Lady of Fatima Church in Vidya Vihar.

Not only did the priest donate his mother’s organs at Fortis Hospital in Vashi, he even invited a team of transplant specialists to her prayer meet to raise awareness.

“They cleared any doubts people had. There is some apprehension about organ donation in the community which needs to be addressed,” he adds.

Christians are increasingly tilting towards the idea that after death, the soul finds salvation while the body returns to dust. “We are preaching that if we can better the life of others, why not do it,” says Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the archdiocese.

It was during one such awareness programmes that Alisha Nazareth, attached with a production house on Veera Desai Road, learned about organ donation.

When her grandfather B E Mendes passed away in Goa at the age of 89, the Nazareths donated his entire body for medical research at Goa Medical College in Bambolim. As he suffered a cardiac arrest, his organs could not be donated. “He was a freedom fighter in Mumbai during Independence. After his death, even my grandmother has decided to donate her organs,” Nazareth (23) says.

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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