Two Indian priests appointed to Asian Bishops’ body

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi, March 17, 2019: The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) has appointed Indian priests as secretaries to two of its offices.

Father Joseph Gonsalves of the Archdiocese of Bombay is the new executive secretary of the Office for Human Development (OHD). He will also serve as secretary of FABC Climate Change Desk.

Salesian Father George Plathottam has been appointed the new executive secretary of FABC Office of Social Communication (OSC).

The FABC Central Committee finalized the appointments at a meeting in Rome on February 25.

The two Indians will hold the posts for a period of four years.

Father Gonsalves’ appointment comes in the wake of the sudden demise of Father Raymond O’Toole on January 5.

He currently heads the Archdiocesan Office for Environment and the Mumbai Unit of Prison Ministry India. He is also a member of the Archdiocesan Commission for Justice and Peace and a resident professor at St Pius X College, Goregaon (E), Mumbai.

Father Plathottam, a media practitioner who has headed national media offices in New Delhi, will take up his post in Manila, the Philippines, on March 22.

The FABC-OSC is responsible for the Radio Veritas Asia, the only continental Catholic Radio service broadcasting in 22 languages of Asia for the past 50 years.

The RVA golden jubilee celebrations are scheduled for April 11-12.

“We extend to you a warm welcome into the FABC family and thank you for your acceptance of this important FABC position,” FABC president Salesian Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, wrote to Father Plathottam.

Father Plathottam, a member of the Salesians’ Guwahati province, was rector and principal of Don Bosco Tura in Meghalaya and director of Don Bosco Academy Tura – a center for Civil Service preparatory training and career guidance prior to his recent appointment.

The 62-year-old priest has three masters degrees in Theology, Sociology, and Journalism and Mass Communications and doctoral degree on Mass Communication from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.

Earlier, he was the director of the Mass Media Department in St Anthony’s College, Shillong, and president of Indian Catholic Press Association and South Asian Catholic Press Association, and editor of South Asia Religious News.

Father Plathottam who has spent some four decades in northeaster India has worked as national secretary for communications at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India from 2008 to 2015 and director of national media training and research institute, NISCORT from 2012 to 2015.

He is on several academic and consultative boards related to media. One of the founding members of 25 year old BOSCOM India (Don Bosco Communications) Father Plathottam is the founder of the Salesian news agency , Bosco Information Service.

In 1992, he won The North -South Friendship Prize from Union of Catholic International Press and the Government of Germany.

FABC brings together 19 bishops’ conferences of Asia as full members and 8 associate members. The federation’s purpose is to foster solidarity and co-responsibility among its members for the welfare of Church and society in Asia.

FABC is a voluntary association of episcopal conferences in South, Southeast, East and Central Asia, established with approval of the Holy See.

Its purpose is to foster among its members solidarity and co-responsibility for the welfare of the Church and society in Asia, and to promote and defend whatever is for the greater good.

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