By Jose Kavi
New Delhi: Pope Francis on July 3 appointed Father Peter Paul Saldanha as the new bishop of Mangalore.
The 54-year-old priest succeeds Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza, who led the southern Indian diocese for the past 22 years. Pope accepted Bishop D’Souza’s resignation as he has already crossed 77 years of age. The statutory retirement age of a bishop in the Catholic Church is 75.
The appointment was announced at 12 noon in Rome and its corresponding time in India, said press release from the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in New Delhi.
The bishop-elect is currently a professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome.
He was born in Kinnigoli parish of the Mangalore diocese on April 27, 1964. After primary and secondary education in his village, he did his philosophy and theology at St. Joseph’s Interdiocesan Seminary, Jeppu, Mangalore. He was ordained a priest on May 6, 1991.
Bishop-elect Saldanha has a diploma in Depth Psychology and Formation from the Institute for Formators, Bangalore, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome.
He began his priestly life as the assistant pastor of at St. Lawrence’s Church, Moodubelle. He has also worked as the assistant parish priest in Our Lady of Miracles Church, Milagres, and Our Lady of Dolours Church, Vittal.
He was appointed teacher and formator at St. Joseph’s Interdiocesan Seminary, Jeppu in 1996, a post he held for three years. At the same time, he was the vice rector of the same seminary. From 1999 to 2005 he did his studies in Rome, and on his return he was appointed professor at the Jeppu seminary.
He joined the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, in 2010 as its professor of Dogmatic Theology in 2011.
He was spiritual director at the Pontificio Collegio Urbano De Propaganda Fide, Rome. On March 14, 2015, the Pope appointed him a consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.