The new Archbishop of Delhi, Anil J. T. Couto, was installed over the weekend at a solemn religious ceremony at St. Columba’s grounds, adjacent to the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Delhi. The 58-year-old Rev. Couto replaces Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao.

The representative of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio from the Vatican Embassy in Delhi, presided over the Holy Mass and installed the new Archbishop on the seat of the Archdiocese of Delhi. The solemn, graceful ceremony lasting more than two hours was attended by 15 Archbishops and Bishops, more than 100 priests, 500 nuns and thousands of devout. Archbishop Pennacchio wished and blessed the Goa-born new Archbishop on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.

The religious and legal ceremony of taking over the charge of the Archdiocese was followed by a short but colourful felicitation programme, the highlight of which was an inter-religious prayer service wherein religious leaders representing Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Baha’i and Judaism prayed for blessings on the work of the new Archbishop and thanked God for the person of Archbishop Concessao for giving a unique leadership to inter-faith initiatives in the Capital.

Addressing the congregation, Archbishop Couto said: “Though I feel unworthy to take up such a great responsibility, I am happy to respond to God’s call to serve all the people under our care and the larger public that fall in our area of concern, especially the poor, not forgetting our responsibility towards people of other faiths and the many challenges that the Capital city throws before a religious head. I hope to achieve this goal through the collaboration of all the Christians in the city.”