Vatican News
Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square, June 6, 2018. Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square, June 6, 2018.  (AFP or licensors)

Pope appoints two new bishops in India

Pope Francis on June 8 appointed a new bishop in Raiganj and an auxiliary bishop in Miao.

Pope Francis on Friday made two appointments in India.  He nominated Fr. Fulgence Aloysius Tigga as Bishop of Raiganj Diocese in the eastern state of West Bengal, and Fr. Dennis Panipitchai has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Miao Diocese, in Arunachal Pradesh state, northeast India.

Diocese of Raiganj

The seat of Raiganj has been vacant since the death of Bishop Alphonsus D’Souza on April 30, 2016.

A priest of Bettiah Diocese, Bihar, Fr. Fulgence Tigga, the bishop-designate of Raiganj was born on March 3, 1965, in Katkahi in the Diocese of Gumla. Jharkhand

He completed his Philosophical studies in Vishwa Jyoti Gurukul, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, and Theology at the Bhopal Regional Seminary, Ashta, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.  He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hindi from Allahabad University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Fr. Tigga was ordained a priest on March 3, 1997 for the Diocese of Muzaffarpur.  He was then incardinated into the new Diocese of Bettiah when it was created in 1998.

After his priestly ordination he has held the following positions:

1997-2000 : Assistant parish priest and dean at Loyola Middle School, Chuhari

2001-2004 : Parish priest in Chanpatia

2004-2009 : Parish priest and rector at St. Peter's Minor Seminary in Dussaiya

2009-2014  : Parish priest in Chakhni

2014-2017 : Parish priest of the Mother of God Church, Ramnagar; diocesan consultor; director of vocations and director of the Diocesan Commission for Liturgy

Since 2017:  Vicar General and parish priest of the Church of the Mother of God, Ramnagar


Diocese of Miao

Auxiliary Bishop-designate Fr. Dennis Panipitchai of Miao, a Salesian of Don Bosco, was born on July 27, 1958, in Colachel, Diocese of Kottar, in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state. 

After attending St. Mary's Parish School in Colachel, Fr. Panipitchai entered the Salesian pre-novitiate of Shillong in Meghalaya in 1976.  He later completed his philosophical studies at the Divyadaan Salesian Institute of Philosophy in Nashik, Maharashtra.

After a year of regency in Kheti, Tinsukia, Assam,  he completed his theological studies at Sacred Heart Theological College in Shillong. He has Masters degrees in Theology and Economics.

His solemn profession as a Salesian and his priestly ordination took place the same day on December 27, 1991.

Since then Panipitchai has held the following positions:

1992-1995 : Dean of studies of the Salesian pre-novitiate Rua Home in Jorhat, in the Diocese of Dibrugarh, Assam

1995-1997 : Administrator of Don Bosco Bible School in Kheti, Tinsukia, in the Diocese of Dibrugarh

1998-2000  : In charge of Don Bosco School in Borduria, then part of Dibrugarh Diocese

2000-2001  : Pursued Masters degree course

2001-2004  : Principal of Don Bosco School, Miao

2004-2009  : Parish priest of Mary Help of Christians Parish in Borduria, then part of Dibrugarh   Diocese

2009-2015  : Principal of Don Bosco School, Kohima, in the Diocese of Kohima, Nagaland 

In 2012       : A short course in spirituality in Rome, Italy

Since 2012 : Salesian Provincial Councillor

Since 2015  : Parish priest of Mary Immaculate Parish in Chingmeirong, Archdiocese of Imphal, Manipur.

Being a bishop means heading a diocese, but since an auxiliary bishop does not have a diocese of his own and functions under a bishop, he is assigned what is called a “titular diocese”, a former diocese now defunct, sometimes known as “dead diocese”.  Such titular dioceses once flourished in territories conquered by Muslims such as in Turkey.

With his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Miao, Fr. Panipitchai has been assigned the Titular See of Aggersel.  He will be Auxiliary Bishop under Bishop George Palliparambil of Miao, also a Salesian.

08 June 2018, 12:57