Thousands attend ordination of new Kollam bishop
Kolam: Monsignor Paul Antony Mullassery was ordained as the Bishop of Kollam Latin Catholic diocese in an elaborate installation ceremony held here on June 3.
The prelate, who had been functioning as the Vicar General of the diocese, took over from outgoing bishop and apostolic administrator Stanley Roman. He was appointed the new bishop by Pope Francis of Vatican.
The outgoing Bishop officiated the installation while Fr. Jose Johny, Fr. Sanu Francis, and Fr. Joe Antony led the procedures. The ceremony that started at 2.30 p.m. followed all rites of canonical installation, including reading of the apostolic letter in Latin and its translation, consent of the people, homily, checking willingness of the candidate, Litany of the Saints, laying on of hands by all bishops present, prayer of consecration, anointing of the bishop’s head, and the presentation of the Book of Gospels. The investiture concluded with the handing over of ring, miter, and pastoral staff. Mon. Mullassery’s acceptance of the symbols of episcopal authority was followed by the kiss of peace by all bishops present.
The episcopal ordination was witnessed by a large mass of the devout who gathered at Fatima Mata National College where the ceremony was held. 30 bishops, over 300 priests, and thousands of believers from 116 parishes under eight foranes of Kollam diocese attended the grand event.
The new bishop will formally assumed office on June 4 at a function to be held at Infant Jesus Cathedral at Thangassery. He will be accorded a civic reception at the Bharata Rajni auditorium on June 9 and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the function at 3 p.m.
The 58-year-old new bishop was born to Margareta and Antony Gabriel of Kaithakkodi in Kanjirakkode under Kollam diocese on January 15, 1960. He completed his schooling from Trinity Lyceum in Kollam before joining Pontifical seminary in Aluva in 1978 and received priesthood on January 22, 1980, from the then Kollam Bishop Joseph G. Fernandez.
Bishop Mullassery, who holds a doctorate in Canon law from Pontifical Urban University in Rome and a post-doctorate diploma from the Gregorian University, had served as vicar in the parishes of Vadakumthala, Maruthurkulangara, and Padappakara.
source: The Hindu