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*Archbishop of Alphonsus Mathias Passes Away* An illustrious and proud Old student of Milagres High School Kallianpur, hailing from Shankarpura- Pangla.

By July 10, 2024News
kallianpurdotcom: 9741001849
Reported By: P. Archibald Furtado

Udupi: Most Rev. Alphonsus Mathias (96) Archbishop Emeritus of Bangalore Archdiocese passed away on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 5.20pm at St. John’s medical college, Bangalore. For last few months he was under treatment for old age-related ailments. Funeral details are awaited.

He was the Bishop of Chikmagalur (1964-1986) and Archbishop of Bangalore (1986-1998). He was the President of the CBCI for two terms in 1989 and 1993. He attended the Second Vatican Council as Council Father.

Abp. Alphonse was born on 22 June 1928 as the fourth child of Diego Mathias, and Philomena D’Souza at Pangala in South Canara district of Karnataka. He joined St Joseph Seminary, Jeppu, Mangalore in June 1945 with an intention to become a diocesan priest. Observing his brilliancy superiors had sent him within two and half years of his Mangaluru seminary life to Pontifical Seminary in Candy, Sri Lanka for further studies where he studied Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained priest on 24 August 1954 at Candy. He offered his first Solemn Mass at Pangala Church after his return to the native at the end of the year.

The first appointment of Fr Alphonsus was at St Joseph’s Parish, Bajpe as an assistant parish priest. After about a year of service there, he was sent to Rome in 1955 for higher studies in Canon Law and International Civil Law. There he undertook doctoral studies in Canon Law and International Civil Law from Urbanian University and Lateran University and obtained degrees DD, JUD, PhL. Fr Alphonsus returned to Mangalore diocese in 1959 and served as secretary to Bishop Raymond D’Mello and as chancellor of the diocese.

At the age of 35 he was appointed as the first Bishop of newly created diocese of Chikmagalur on 16 November, 1963 by Pope St. Paul VI and ordained Bishop on 5 February, 1964 at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Chikmagalur. Bishop Alphonsus toiled throughout his 23 years of service and he was successful in his mission. He attended the Second Vatican Council as Council Father.

He was appointed Archbishop of Bangalore on 12 September 1986 and on 3 December 1986, he took charge as the Metropolitan Archbishop. At the age 69, still 6 more years to retirement, he sent his resignation to Rome citing poor health and it was accepted on 24 March 1998.

He was elected as the president of the CBCI for two terms in 1989 and 1993. He was the Chairman of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore (1974-1982) and was greatly responsible in upgrading St John’s. He was the Chairman of the Commission for Social Communications of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC); President of Radio Veritas, Manila; a member of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications and the Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican. He also improved the condition of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore (1986-1998).

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