Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio ordained Monsignor Eugene Joseph as the bishop of Varanasi On August 24 as the third bishop of Varanasiat St Mary’s Cathedral, which was attended by thousands of people cutting across religions.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, Archbishop Albert D’ Souza of Agra (the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India) were the other consecrating prelates. Bishops from 27 dioceses along with hundreds of priests and nuns from Varanasi and neighboring districts participated in the Episcopal ordination and installation of the new bishop.
Varanasi diocesan chancellor Fr. William Fernandez read the Pope’s letter of appointment during the Mass.
The previous day, the bishop-elect took a solemn oath of fidelity that he would remain faithful to his responsibilities, teach sound doctrines concerning the faith to the people, and impart sound moral principles to those under his care.
In a press release Bishop Eugene explained his vision to work together with people of all religions in the area.
The new bishop expressed that “We need to safeguard the value of human life in the face of a growing culture of exclusion and inequality. We must pay heed to the outcry of the fragile and the defenseless and take care of Mother Earth, our Common Home.”
Bishop Joseph was born on July 31, 1958, at Rajakamangalam, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, a south Indian state. He was ordained a priest for Varanasi diocese on April 10, 1985.
He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Nagpur University, Maharashtra, and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Gorakhpur University, U.P.; a Master’s Degree in English from Mahatma Gandhi K.V. University, Varanasi, U.P.; a Master’s Degree in Business, Administration & Management from Townsend School of Business, New York, USA. He speaks English, Hindi and Tamil.
He has worked for 30 years in the diocese in various capacities. He started as an assistant priest, teacher, students’ warden, assistant rector in Minor Seminary, principal of schools, parish priest, director of Regional Pastoral Centre and Kala Kendra, director of St. Mary’s Hospital and founding Director of St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Finance Committee member, Dean, Vicar General, Secretary of Education Society.Until recently he was the Diocesan Administrator.