Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - On 11 April 2016 the Holy Father erected the new Diocese of Rayagada, in India, with territory taken from the Diocese of Berhampur, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. The Holy Father appointed Rev. Fr. Aplinar Senapati, of the Congregation of the Mission (C. M.), Parish priest and Dean of the Middle School in Derapathar, in the Archdiocese of Guwahati as First Bishop of Rayagada.
Rev. Fr. Aplinar Senapati, C.M., was born on October 28, 1960 in Surada, Diocese of Berhampur. After high school at the Technical High School in his hometown, he studied Philosophy at Aquinas College, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Berhampur, as a Novice of the Congregation of the Mission, and Theology at the University of Pune, where he also obtained a Diploma in Psychology and Formation. He obtained an M.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Philosophy at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He was ordained a priest on 28 November 1990.
Since his ordination he has served the following pastoral and academic roles: 1990-1993: Parish Vicar of Mohnana Parish, Aligonda, diocese of Berhampur; 1993-1996: Formator and professor at the Vincentian Barpada minor Seminary, diocese of Berhampur; 1996-1997: Parish Vicar of Alada Parish, diocese of Berhampur; 1997-2005: Pastor of Jubaguda Parish, Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar; 2005-2007: Pastor of Dukuma Parish, Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar; 2007-2008: Diploma Course in Psychology and Formation in Pune; 2008-2014: Master of Novices at Stella Maris Gopalpur, diocese of Berhampur; since 2014: Pastor of St. Vincent De Paul Parish and President of the English Medium School in Derapathar, Archdiocese of Guwahati.
The new diocese of Ragayada includes six civil districts of Kalanhandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Rayagada. The boundaries of the new diocese are as follows: to the north with the archdiocese of Raipur; to the west with the diocese of Jagdalpur of the Syro-Malabar; to the east with the mother diocese of Berhampur and the diocese of Srikakulam; and to the south with the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam. The Church Cathedral for the moment will be the main church of the city of Rayagada, where the majority of the faithful are concentrated. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/04/2016)