JAMMU, Feb 21: In one of the most significant moves since the demission of former Bishop Peter Celestine in December 2013 and its acceptance by Pope Francis, the Catholic community in Jammu and Kashmir gathered at Jammu to celebrate the consecration and installation of the new Bishop of the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar.
Rev Fr Ivan Pereira, native of Mumbai and priest of the diocese was ordained as Bishop of Jammu Srinagar Diocese. The ceremony took place at a celebration of Holy Eucharist, the most sacred religious function of the Catholics, at the St Mary’s Presentation School grounds Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.
The ceremony was presided over by Salvatore Pennacchio, the Vatican Ambassador to India and Nepal and legate of Pope Francis in India and assisted by Anil Couto, Metropolitan Archbishop of Delhi and Felix Machado, Archbishop of Vasai. The Holy Eucharist was concelebrated by Albert D’souza, Archbishop of Agra, Vincent Concesso, Emritus Bishop of Delhi, Elias Gonsalves, Bishop of Amravati, Franko Mulakal, Bishop of Jalandhar, Emmanuel Kerketta, Bishop of Jashpur, Ignatius Mascharnes, Bishop of Shimla-Chandigarh, George Pallipparambil, Bishop of Miao, Gerald Mathias, Bishop of Lucknow, Patrick Nair, Bishop Emritus of Meerat and Jacob Barnabas, Malankara Bishop of Delhi Diocese. Priests of the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar, priests of religious congregations, visiting priests and friends of Bishop Ivan were also present.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of religious sisters and Catholic faithful from Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
Salvatore Pennacchio in his message stressed on the element of holiness in the life of a person and exhorted everyone to be a living icon of Christ.
The newly consecrated Bishop Ivan Pereira unveiled his Episcopal motto which is “Pax nuntiata est”, which means “Peace is announced”. He called upon everyone to be an announcer of peace in country.
Later, a public reception was organized, in which Salvatore Pennacchio was the chief guest and DGP J&K K Rajendra was guest of honour, Divisional Commissioner Jammu Shantmanu, civic leaders, leaders from other religions, prominent citizens of Jammu, representatives of various Government department and representatives of the various parishes and agencies that make up the diocese of Jammu-Srinagar were also present.