Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, on 10 February 2009, appointed Fr. Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas, of the clergy of Delhi, Rector of the Regional Propedeutical Seminary in Kauli, as Bishop of the Diocese of Simla-Chandigarh (India).
Fr. Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas was born June 3, 1949 in Delhi. After having completed his studies at St. Columba's School, he entered the Minor Seminary of St. Anselm in Ajmer. He then transferred to the Major Seminary of St. Pius College, Garegaon (Bombay), for Philosophy, and completed his Theological studies at the Vidyajyoti, in Delhi. He was ordained a priest on December 17, 1977 for the Archdiocese of Delhi. He has since ministered as follows: Vice-Secretary of the Archbishop and Pastor of the Cathedral of Delhi (1978-1981); Vice-Principal of Rosary Senior Secondary School, in Kingsway Camp, Delhi (1981-1985); Pastor of St. Thomas Parish (1985-1991); sabbatical year visiting the Ashram of India (1991-1992); Rector of the Vinay Gurukul Minor Seminary (1992-1997); Rector of the Pratiksha Archdiocesan Major Seminary, in Delhi (1997-2000); Pastor of St. Teresa’s Parish, Pushp Vihar, Delhi (2000-2002); Director of the Small Christian Communities and Charismatic Movement of the Archdiocese, and since 2004, President of the Delhi Service Team of the Delhi Charismatic and Renewal Services (2002-2006); since 2006, Rector of the Propedeutical Regional Seminary of Krist Jyoti Gurukul, in Kauli, Diocese of Simla-Chandigarh.
The Diocese of Simla-Chandigarh was erected in 1964 and is suffragan of the Archdiocese of Delhi. It covers an area of 83.560 km sq and has a population of 20,134,365 inhabitants, of which 13,800 are Catholics. It has 42 parishes, 98 priests (48 diocesan and 50 religious), 62 religious, 290 sisters, and 18 major seminarians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 12/2/2009)