Clergy News

Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,

I am indeed pleased to address you all for the first time as
your Bishop. First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks
to all of you for your presence, prayers and wishes for my
Episcopal Ordination on 15th August 2021. Though we had been
constrained to have the celebration with a limited number of
participants due to Covid 19 restrictions, I should say that the
entire celebration was well organised and systematically arranged.
Therefore, I sincerely thank Most Rev. Dr. Devadass Ambrose for
his meticulous planning, Rev. Fr. T. Eugene who coordinated the
works of the Episcopal Consecration Committee, and all the
leaders and members of the various committees for their tireless
efforts to make this event a grand success.

I would like to express my deepest sentiments of gratitude to
Most Rev. Dr. Devadass Ambrose for taking care of our diocese
for the past three years as the Apostolic Administrator after the
retirement of Bishop Antony Devotta. Despite his age factor and
the heavy work load in his diocese of Thanjavur, he was available
to us as much as possible attending to the administrative and
pastoral needs of our diocese. I also specially thank Rev. Fr. T.
Eugene for his services to our diocese as Vicar General for three
years and as the Contact Person for the past three years. He has
done a great work as a Contact Person playing a mediatory role
between the priests and the Apostolic Administrator. Besides, he
also maintained a good rapport with the civil leaders and officials
and was able to avail their intervention in settling certain issues
and problems. As his role as the Contact Person comes to an end
with the appointment of the new bishop, I wholeheartedly thank
him for all that he has done to the diocese.

Dear Fathers, on this occasion, I wish to appeal to all of you
that we maintain unity among ourselves as one family and work
together as one presbyterium. The very term presbyterium
describes the relationship and the union that should exist among
the priests and their bishop. The Second Vatican Council’s Decree
on the Ministry and Life of Priests says, ‘All priests, who are
constituted in the order of priesthood by the Sacrament of Order,
are bound together by an intimate sacramental brotherhood; but
in a special way they form one priestly body in the diocese to
which they are attached under their own bishop’ (PO, 8).

Though we may be assigned different duties and
responsibilities in the diocese, we should always keep in mind
that all of us fulfil the one priestly service for people. Therefore,
there should be no discrimination among us on whatever basis.
We should acknowledge and appreciate the individuality,
uniqueness and the contribution of everyone. We should never
disrespect anyone or undermine anyone’s contribution. Each of
us is gifted with different talents and charisms. But all of us are
called to contribute to the same purpose of building up of the
Mystical Body of Christ in our local diocese. This is possible only
when there is unity and solidarity among ourselves. When there
is no unity in the presbyterium, the diocese will disintegrate. We
are all called to unitedly work for the integral growth of the diocese
and not to disintegrate the diocese by our disunity. Therefore, let
us all be united in Our Lord Jesus Christ and work together for
the building up of Mystical Body of Christ concretely in our Trichy

My second appeal to you is that when I come to visit the
parishes or institutions, kindly avoid honouring me with shawls,
flowers and other gifts. Instead, whatever little may be the amount
the people spend for this purpose, let them put it in an envelope
and handover it to me, so that the amount collected may be spent
for the noble cause of educating the poor children in our diocese.
Please do not ask the people to contribute compulsorily. Let them
feel free to contribute on their own even if it were to be a very
small amount. For every little drop only makes a mighty ocean.

I sincerely thank you all for your kind understanding and
seek your continued cooperation and solidarity. Be assured of
my prayers for all of you.

May God bless you all!

Most Rev. Dr. S. Arokiaraj
Bishop of Tiruchirappalli