A Pontifical High Mass organised to celebrate the elevation of Archbishop Poola Anthony as Cardinal!
* The memorable Catholic event had a congregation of two cardinals, 15 bishops & 300 priests
* Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias concelebrated the Pontifical High Mass
* Cardinal Poola to reach out to Periphery and downtrodden
Hyderabad, September 2022: The Metropolitan city of Hyderabad witnessed a memorable Catholic Event of Pontifical High Mass to celebrate the elevation of Archbishop Poola Anthony as Cardinal, today at the St Mary’s School grounds. The grand event was graced by two cardinals, including the newly installed Cardinal Poola Anthony, Cardinal Oswald Gracias from Mumbai, 15 bishops from pan India and thousands of faithful Catholics. Pope Francis installed Hyderabad Metropolitan Archbishop Poola Anthony as Cardinal in a religious event called Consistory in Vatican City on August 27, 2022.
The Convenor of Media Committee of the Event, Father Allam Arogya Reddy, said, “Thanksgiving mass celebrated Archbishop Poola Anthony’s elevated as cardinal. In 2000 years of history of the Universal Catholic Church and more than 300 years of Telugu Catholic Church, Cardinal Poola Anthony is the first to be on the College of Consultors to the Pope from the Telugu States.”
Speaking on the occasion Most Rev. Poola Anthony said, today we all gathered here to offer the thanks giving to holy Eucharist, joining with mother Mary, proclaiming the greatness and wonders of the Lord that he has done in my life. We will have reflections during the Holy Eucharist by our beloved Cardinal. At this juncture I invite all of you my dear Bishops, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers and the faithful to pray in a special way tomorrow as our beloved Cardinal Oswald Gracias celebrates his 25 years of episcopacy, 15 years of Cardinalate and 50 years of his ordination. He has hectic schedule, in spite of that out of love for us he is here among us and let us pray for his good health and success and for the Archdiocese of Mumbai. So with these thoughts in our minds, my dear brothers and sisters let us enter into this holy eucharistic celebration asking the Lord to make us worthy to participate in this Holy Eucharist in a worthy manner. Now let us acknowledge our sins and failures and ask the Lord for pardon and strength.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias in his address said, my dear Bishops, dear reverend Fathers, dear religious men and women and my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus, Simon son of John do you love me more than these, these are the words we herd in the Gospel and Jesus asks Simon twice the same question and many commentators would see that Jesus was asking him thrice because Simon, Peter had denied Jesus to make up for these three ways. I hardly think that Jesus would rub it in so much, I think Jesus asked this question of Simon over and over again a reaffirmation, because very soon he was to give him a greater responsibility to become Peter the rock, the bond of unity, the strength of the Church, the head of the Magisterial. Jesus asked for an affirmation because he was going to give him a greater responsibility. I think as we give this Thanks giving Mass for our Brother Cardinal Anthony poola, the same question has been asked of our Cardinal. Anthony from the Poola family do you love me more than these and Cardinal said yes and than came the additional responsibility. I think all of us at our priestly ordination hear these words. Cardinals heard it also, Bishops heard it also at their Episcopal ordination, do you love me more than these and now as he is appointed Cardinal the same question do you love me more than these. At each time the question becomes more clear, the words become more loud, the message becomes more distinct. Sisters and Brothers, the laity all of us ask by the commitment , because we have a role in his mission, he has a plan for us, John, Michael, Peter, Mary and do you love me more than these. Avocation is not something that we apply for, we don’t become a priest or a sister or a Bishop by applying to become that. It’s a call, the initiative comes from Jesus. He called Simon and asked, he chose Simon, because he had a plan for Simon, as he had a plan for each one of us and he had a plan for our Cardinal. The call comes unexpectedly, the call comes sometimes little indistinctly, for it’s a call from Jesus and that’s what we need to recognise. Proof that the call comes unexpectedly, because when Archbishop Poola was made Cardinal, he was not in Hyderabad. When Archbishop Philip Neri was made Cardinal, he was not at Archbishop’s home, he was at his own home and this message comes unexpectedly and the answer has got to be yes. Jesus, as we say this thanks giving mass, I invite each one of us you and me to think of the words of Jesus to us personally, to the Sisters, the Fathers, the Bishops and myself, do you love these more than me and what was our response, how faithful were we to our response and how faithful were we in our response to Jesus, do you love me more than these. This question my dear brothers and sisters comes to each one of us if we are in a position of heavy responsibility or even somebody like a sister working as a clerk in a school and somebody doing housekeeping in the Bishop’s house and so on, each one has got a role to play after a call comes from Jesus. This call is not to be a functionary to something part of a whole like in an office, a factory, in a corporate world, all this part of god’s call. It’s a mission entrusted, Christ mission is to build the kingdom of God, to work for the Church and build the kingdom of god. Cardinal Poola is also called to build the kingdom of god, establish it by his role of leadership, this role of leadership is not one of domination or just peer management or Admin, but a mission passionately sought after by the whole person and this call doesn’t ask merely to do something but to become something. We are not mere functionaries, we are meant to give witness by our life, by our mission, by our commitment, by our dedication. This is Jesus call to Bishop Anthony Poola to and the gospel word should ring in our words over and over again. It’s a call for a mission that calls us to transform our lives and give witness. Cardinal is not called to be a good leader, but to be a good shepherd. Are we good shepherds, a shepherd is the one who cares for the flock, guides his flock, protects it and even ready to sacrifice his life for the flock. Pope Francis in all his recent talks taught to the new Cardinals has always mentioned that you are going wear red and r3d is the colour of blood, therefore should be ready to even give your blood for Jesus and ready to do anything for Jesus, a shepherd lays down his life for his flock. Our Lord was a good shepherd, he came on earth, sent by the father, came with a mission to redeem the world and he was totally committed to this and his whole person was a witness to the mission of his. At this Thanks giving we should think of the Lords words, it should ring in our ears continuously. In the last words of Gospel, Jesus said follow me, he didn’t say follow him where and open our ears, hearts and our minds to see where the holy spirit is leading us. May this mass of thanks giving, be a mass of renewal also. Let’s follow him as the holy spirit does.
Archbishop of Agra Raphy Manjaly, two secretaries to Apostolic Nuncio to India & Nepal Monsginour Gabriel Pesce, Father Kevin Justin Kimtis, Bishop Niranjan of Sambalpur, Bishop Sarat Chandra Naik of Berhampur, Monsingour C Francis Vicar General of Bangalore, Bishop Henry D’Souza Bishop of Bellary were present among several other dignitaries.
A native of the Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh, Bishop Poola Anthony was anointed as Archbishop of Hyderabad in January 2021 and is now elevated as cardinal. Pope announced 21 new Cardinals worldwide, including two from India. The College of Cardinals previously consisted of 208 Cardinals, of whom 117 are electors who elect the Pope and 91 non-electors. On 27 August, the number grew to 229 Cardinals, of whom 131 are the electors.
From Asia, six new cardinals have been appointed recently, and two from India, including Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião di Rosário Ferrão – Archbishop of Goa and Damão and Archbishop Anthony Poola – Archbishop of Hyderabad.
Poola Anthony, after his return from Rome, said, “It is a proud moment for Telugu Catholic Church as this happened for the first time in the history of the Church in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. I will act as per the guidance of Pope Francis. I will reach out to the Periphery, the poor and the downtrodden as Pope suggested. I will involve in development activities not only in the Telugu region but also in other regions of the country,”
Cardinal Bishop Anthony was ordained as a priest in February 1992. Sixty-year-old Poola was appointed as bishop of Kurnool in February 2008. Poola was born in Chindukur village in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Anthony joined the minor seminary in Kurnool and then studied at St. Peter’s pontifical major seminary in Bengaluru. He served as chairman of Youth Commission, AP Social Service Society, SC/BC Commission, secretary-general and treasurer of Telugu Catholic Bishops Conference.
Cardinal Poola will continue to serve as Hyderabad archbishop, having jurisdiction over Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Medchal and surrounding districts of Hyderabad. In addition, the archdiocese influences the Diocese of Adilabad, Kadapa, Khammam, Kurnool, Nalgonda and Warangal.
Hyderabad Archdiocese Vicar General Msgr Yeruva Balashowry, Chancellor, and Procurator Father Victor Emmanuel oversee the event arrangements.
Media Committee Convenor: Father Allam Aroya Reddy, Email: [email protected] Mobile: 9441980290