By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has appointed new leaders for Caritas India, the Indian Church’s official arm for social concerns and developmental works.
Father Paul Moonjely, a priest of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, will replace Father Frederic D’Souza of Delhi archdiocese as the new executive director of the organization that was set up in 1960. Father Moonjely is the current assistant executive director of the organization.
The new assistant director is Father Jolly Puthenpura of Amravati diocese, who is the current administrator of Caritas India.
The appointments were announced at the bishops’ biennial plenary assembly now underway in Bengaluru, southern India. The two will assume office from May for six years, according to a press release from Caritas India on February 7.
A CBCI press release said the appointments were made by the bishops’ conference’s Standing Committee when it met at Bengaluru February 1-5 and later announced it at the 33rd General Body Meeting.
Outgoing director Father D’Souza ends his six-year service as Caritas India executive director in April.
Father Moonjely holds master’s degrees in Business Administration and Social Work and has more than 11 years of experience in development sector. Prior to joining Caritas India as the assistance director, he served as the director of Welfare Services Ernakulam and Director of Lisie Medical and Educational Institutions, Kerala.
With his community development approach, he has developed innovative programs such as ‘Sneha’ – a Centre for Rehabilitation of differently abled children and ‘Naivedya’ – an Ayurveda hospital for alternate health,
Father Puthenpura has served 14 years as the director of Amravati Diocesan Social Development Society as well as Forum Director of Western Regional Forum covering Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat.
He has doctorate in Catholic Social Teachings on the topic “The Principles of Catholic Social Teachings; their Relevance and Influence on the Catholic NGOs of Maharashtra.” He was instrumental in making Jeevan Vikas Sanstha as the frontline NGO of the Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra. He was also a consultant to various social sector organizations in Maharashtra.
The press release says the organization is committed to preserve the dignity and sacredness of human personality. It has served the underprivileged sections of society, hailing from socially excluded communities, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, and religious minorities.
Over the years, Caritas India has diversified her interventions in the areas of Humanitarian Response and Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Adaptative Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihood, Anti-Human Trafficking, Peace-Building and Community Health. With a network of more than 200 partners across India, Caritas India reaches out to the most marginalized in the country.