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Patna’s New Archbishop Pledges To Work For Community Development
PATNA, Bihar(SAR NEWS) --The newly installed Archbishop of Patna, William D’Souza, has pledged to work for integral development of the Christian community through education.

Installed on December 9 as Bihar’s second archbishop, D’Souza has been serving as bishop of Buxar in central eastern Bihar for the past two years.

Addressing a gathering of over 3,500 men and women, including 9 bishops, nearly 100 priests, over 300 nuns and the laity at the installation ceremony, Archbishop D’Souza said, “My predecessor Archbishop emeritus Benedict J. Osta worked for 27 years to keep the flock together. I want now to work for the overall development of the community through education.”

“This is the best witness to Christ,” he noted. “The command of Christ is to preach the Gospel far and wide. We need to preach the gospel through action,” he said. “Indeed during the past years, a lot of work has been done in Patna archdiocese. But the journey is not over. We need to have institutions of higher learning, particularly degree colleges in archdiocese,” he said.

“All the works are possible if we are together, with the cooperation of the laity, clergy and the religious,” he added.

“We need to have a new enthusiasm to do this. We need to revive the spirit of our veterans such as Capuchin Bishop Anastatius Hartmann, Bishop Van Hoeck, besides veteran priests such as Henry Westtropp, Marion Batson, Peter Sontag and others,” he said.

“I promise to work sincerely for the integral development of our community by holding on to my motto, ‘not to be served, but to serve’,” Archbishop D’Souza emphasised.

Thanking Bihar State Assembly Speaker, Uday Narayan Chaudhary who spoke earlier, he said, “We want to maintain good relations with all categories of people and politicians and the government. We would want your cooperation in solving the problems of the Christian minority,” he said.

Congratulating the new archbishop, Speaker Chaudhary said: “I’m grateful to all those who work for human development. I am happy that the Church members, particularly the clergy and religious, are working to uplift the downtrodden.

“We appreciate your work for the marginalised, without any distinction of caste or creed. Bihar’s eight crore people need your presence for development,” he added.

Also, congratulating Archbishop D’Souza, Bihar-Jharkhand-Andamans Regional Bishops’ Conference chairman, Bishop Charles Soreng of Hazaribagh, said, “What characterized him is his solidarity with the people. He mingles with types of people and carries them along. He has compassion for his people, and has passion for the mission of Christ.”

Earlier, after the Mass, the papal appointment was read out by Vicar General Father Devasia Mattathilani and thereafter the mantle of the reigning Archbishop Benedict J. Osta was handed over to Bishop D’Souza, who has become the second archbishop of Bihar.

Recalling the service of retiring Archbishop Osta, Bishop of Muzaffarpur John B. Thakur said, Archbishop Osta kept his flock belonging to diverse cultures and language groups together for 27 years. He was always with his people. If he did not visit his flock he was sad, he added.

In his farewell speech, Archbishop Osta said, “Developing the local Church has been my dream. Apart from establishing many educational institutions, parishes, and inviting many religious congregations, fostering clerical vocations from the local Dalit Christian community has been one of my aims, he added.

On this occasion the Archbishop Osta Episcopal Jubilee Committee announced the institution of Archbishop Osta Scholarship for meritorious students of Patna Archdiocese, as an Episcopal Jubilee gift and a farewell gift, to Archbishop Emeritus Osta.


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