By Jose Kavi
New Delhi: Pope Francis on June 8 appointed two new bishops for India.
The pontiff appointed Father Fulgence Aloysius Tigga as the new bishop of Raiganj in West Bengal state and Salesian Father Dennis Panipitchai as the auxiliary of Miao in Arunachal Pradesh, according to a press release from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India headquarters in New Delhi.
The new appointments were announced at 12 noon in the Vatican and its corresponding time in the respective dioceses in India
Father Tigga, a priest of Bettiah diocese in Bihar, is currently its vicar general.
Born on March 3, 1965 at Katkathi village in Gumla diocese in present Jharkhand, he joined the minor seminary in Muzaffarpur after his secondary school. He did his philosophical studies at Vishwa Jyoti Gurukul in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and theology at Bhopal Regional Seminary in Madhya Pradesh. He was ordained a priest on May 3, 1997, for Muzaffarpur diocese. At the bifurcation of the diocese in 1998, he opted for Bettiah diocese.
Father Tigga began his priestly mission as assistant parish of Chuhari in 1997. Three years later, he was made parish priest at Chanpatia. In 2004, he became the parish priest of Dussaiya dn resctor St Peter’s Minor Seminary, a post he held until 2009.
He was the parish priest of Chakhni until 2015 when he was transferred to Ramnagar as its pastor. He became the vicar general in 2017. He also holds the post of dean of West Champaran, member of the Priests Council, Diocesan consulter, In-charge of Liturgy and Vocation Commission and Vocation promoter.
Father Panipitchai is currently the parish priest of Mary Immaculate Parish, Chingmeirong, in Imphal archdiocese in Manipur diocese. He is also a consulter of the Salesians’ Dimapur province.
The bishop-elect was born on July 27, 1958, at Colachel in the Kottar diocese of Tamil Nadu. After attending St. Mary’s Parish School in Colachel, in 1976 he entered the pre-novitiate of the Salesians in Shillong, where he completed he completed his noviciate. He made his first profession on May 24, 1980 as a brother.
Later he felt the call to priesthood and did his philosophy formation at Divyadaan Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik. He continued with theology at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. He obtained a Master’s degree in Theology. He was ordained a priest on December 27, 1991, the same day he made his final profession.
He began his priestly life as the dean of studies at Salesian pre-novitiate, Rua Home, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, from 1992 to 1995. He was the administrator of Don Bosco Bible School, Tinsukia, in the Dibrugarh diocese, for two year. In 1998, he was appointed in-charge of Don Bosco School, Borduria, now in Miao diocese for two eyar. He became the principal of Don Bosco School, Miao and assistant priest in the same parish.
He worked in the Imphal archdiocese for four years from 2001. He then returned to Miao as the parish priest of Mary Help of Christians Church in Borduria, a post he held for five years. In 2009, he was appointed principal of Don Bosco School, Kohima. In 2015, he became the pastor of Mary Immaculate Parish, Chingmeirong.