New Delhi, Jan.17, 2019: Pope Francis on January 17 appointed Father Stephen Antony Pillai as the new bishop of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.
He was serving until now as the director of the Diocesan Retreat Centre and Professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli.
Pope Francis also has accepted the resignation of Bishop Yvon Ambroise from the pastoral care of Tuticorin diocese, according to canon 401§ 1 on reaching the age limit.
The appointment was announced at 12 noon Rome time (4:30 pm India)simultaneously at the Vatican and in India.
Bishop Ambroise will be the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until the new bishop takes over.
Father Pillai was born in Keezha Manakudy, Kottar diocese, on June 22, 1952, and was ordained priest on May 7, 1979, for Vellore. He entered Santhome Minor Seminary, Chennai, in 1969. He did his Philosophy at Arul Anandar College, Madurai and Theology at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli.
He obtained a Master Degree in Theology from St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, and later a Doctorate in Biblical Theology from Urbanian University, Rome in 1989. He knows Tamil, Malayalam, English, Italian, German and French.
He served the diocese in the following ministries: Assistant Parish Priest in Chetpet (1979-1980); Asst. Parish Priest in Polur (1980-1981); Parish Priest in Thachanbali (1983-1986). From 1986-1989 he did his studies in Rome and later served as missionary at Guadeloupe, France (1990-1996). On his return, he was Director of Pastoral Centre, Vellore (1996-1999), Professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli (1999-2001), Parish Priest of the Cathedral, Vellore (2001-2002), Vicar General and Parish Priest of the Cathedral (2002-2005), Vice Rector and Professor, St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli (2006-2010), Parish Priest and Vicar Forane, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Chetpet, and member of the Bishop’s Council, Vellore (2010-2016). He was visiting professor at Don Bosco Major Seminary, Chennai, and Pallottine Major Seminary, Mysore (2016-2017). Since 2017, he is the Director of the Diocesan Retreat Centre, and visiting professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli.