Thomas J. Netto installed as Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop

M. Soosa Pakiam is chief celebrant for ordination

March 19, 2022 10:32 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Apostolic Administrator M. Soosa Pakiam handing over the pastoral staff to the newly-ordained Archbishop Thomas J. Netto at a ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Apostolic Administrator M. Soosa Pakiam handing over the pastoral staff to the newly-ordained Archbishop Thomas J. Netto at a ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Thomas J. Netto was installed as Archbishop of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram at a solemn ceremony held here on Saturday. The episcopal ordination and installation that lasted over four hours was attended by hundreds of devotees at the St. Sebastian Church ground at Cheruvettucaud.

The ceremony began with a reception accorded to the Archbishop-designate who was led to the venue in the accompaniment of nearly 20 Metropolitans representing various dioceses and denominations and several clergy members. M. Soosa Pakiam, the Apostolic Administrator of the Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop, was the chief celebrant for the episcopal ordination. He presented the episcopal ring along with the staff and mitre to the newly-ordained Archbishop.

The installation commenced with the Archbishop Chancellor Monsignor C. Joseph making the customary request to ordain Monsignor Netto. The co-celebrants included Varappuzha Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil and Neyyattinkara Bishop Vincent Samuel.

Both the Latin and the Malayalam translation of the Papal order appointing Msgr. Netto as the Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram were read out at the ceremony that was attended by Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the Apostolic Nuncio to India.

Delivering his message, the Vatican ecclesiastical diplomat said he viewed Kerala to be known for its religious places of worship, Carnatic music that combines both Indian and Dravidian culture, the Periyar river that is its ‘lifeline’ and its highest literacy level in the country, among other unique features.

Delivering the benediction, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop-Catholicos of Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, called upon the new Archbishop to lead the coastal population from the front for their rights and betterment. The benefactors of such efforts must not be the parishioners alone, but the entire community in the region. He also recounted the selfless deeds of the fisherfolk in rescuing those stranded in the floods of 2018.

Addressing the attendees at the conclusion of the ceremony, Archbishop Netto said the responsibility bestowed upon him was challenging but one he accepted with utmost humility.

Elected representatives, including Transport Minister Antony Raju, Shashi Tharoor, MP, Kadakampally Surendran, M. Vincent, MLAs, were among those who turned up to witness the ceremony.

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