Anticipation builds in Mumbai for Thursday's homecoming
of Osy Gracias, a native son and the new archbishop:
The Papal Nuncio, Vatican ambassador to India, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana with Cardinal Simon Pimenta, Emeritus Archbishop of Bombay will conduct the induction ceremony in presence of over 30 archbishops and bishops from all over India and priests and religious men and women of the archdiocese of Bombay.-30-
"It will be a grand liturgical ceremony with best of arrangements. We want to give him a very warm welcome," said Father Anthony Charangat, spokesperson, Archdiocese of Bombay. "Archbishop Gracias succeeds the high profile popular Cardinal Dias, thus holds a very important position. He will work towards building bridges of peace in the Christian community and bring about religious harmony and reconciliation between various faiths", added Charangat.
The largest archdiocese in India was vacant since May 20, 2006 when Cardinal Ivan Dias took charge as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples in the Vatican City.
"We are thrilled to get back our own bishop now elevated as archbishop and we will extend full co-operation in discharging his responsibilities towards the community and the nation at large," said Dolphy D'souza, President of the Bombay Catholic Sabha and Vice President of All Indian Catholic Union.
Born in 1944 in Mahim, Mumbai, Archbishop Gracias was ordained priest in 1970. In January 1997 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay. Three years later he became Archbishop of Agra.