Varanasi: An announcement by Vatican, the Varanasi bishop's house and the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India in New Delhi has heralded the appointment of Fr. Eugene Joseph as the new bishop of Varanasi on Saturday.
Fr Joseph is currently the diocesan administrator of the diocese which has been without a bishop since December 2013.
Born on July 31, 1958, at Rajakamangalam, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu Fr.Joseph completed his schooling at Carmel School, Nagercoil. An alumini of St. Theresa's Minor Seminary, Ajmer in Rajasthan, and St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur, Maharashtra, he was ordained a priest for Varanasi diocese on April 10, 1985.
Proficient in speaking English, Hindi and Tamil, he holds a Master's degree in English from Mahatma Gandhi K.V. University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and Masters in Business Administration and Management from Townsend School of Business, New York, United States.
As a priest he served as an assistant pastor in St. Thomas Parish, Shahganj and correspondent of St. Thomas Inter-College. He was also principal of St. John Inter-College; pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Ghazipur and Vicar Forane of Ghazipur Deanery.
He was also director of Regional Pastoral Centre and principal of Nav Sadhana College, Varanasi. Having been the founding director of Varanasi's St. Mary's School of Nursing he became the diocesan administrator in December 2013.
The diocese is based in Varanasi city, about 780 kilometers southeast of New Delhi. The city is home to some 3000 Catholics.
The diocese, created in 1970, had been led by Bishop Patrick D´Souza for the past 37 years. It has 42 parishes, 38 educational institutions, 28 dispensaries, 16 orphanages and four hospitals.