Rev Sebastiao Mascarenhas, better known as Fr Seby Mascarenhas, a priest of the Missionaries of St Francis Xavier (Society of Pilar), has been named bishop of Baroda. The appointment was also announced on the website of the Archdiocese of Baroda. He has served the Society of Pilar and the Church in various ministries.
The bishop-elect is the brother of Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary at the Archdiocese of Ranchi. With this appointment, two brother priests of the Society of Pilar are now bishops.
Rev Mascarenhas was ordained in 1984 at Pilar and was appointed to the Our Lady of Velankani Church, Vapi, Gujarat. After several postings, during which he had two stints in Germany where he did his doctorate in Systematic Theology at the University of Freiburg, he returned to Goa in 2000 as a professor and animator at the Mission Seminary, Pilar.
The next two decades were spent in Goa and Daman where he was also the rector and professor at the Mission Seminary, Pilar; the superior of the Mumbai Province, Society of Pilar; and the superior of the Mission of Daman (Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli). He was also the superior general of the Society of the Missionaries of St Francis Xavier. In 2022, he was appointed to the Khempur Mission, Ahmedabad.
Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa has congratulated the new bishop, stating, “In the name of the Church in Goa and Daman, and in my own name, I extend warm congratulations to Fr Sebastiao on this new and challenging appointment at the service of the Church, and I wish him choicest blessings from God in the carrying out of his new mission. He now joins his brother Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas in the episcopal service of the Universal Church. Hearty congratulations!”
Cardinal Ferrao added, “In all these capacities, he showed a keen sense of responsibility, serenity and wisdom while dealing with problems and with people.”
Having worked in Gujarat, he speaks the language which will help him in his new position.