Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), expressed “immense joy” as he welcomed Bishop Nirmol Vincent Gomes to his new “shepherding role” at the historical diocese of Krishnagar in India.
“We are grateful that the Spirit of the Lord has endowed the new bishop, Nirmol Vincent Gomes, with the sagacity and the wisdom needed for this evangelizing task,” said the cardinal.
“Our prayerful wishes accompany the new bishop and the people of God of Krishnagar as the journey of hope continues under the leadership of the new Shepherd,” he added.
Pope Francis appointed the 53-year-old Salesian priest as bishop on April 2, 2022.
Bishop Gomes, who holds a doctorate in pedagogical science, will celebrate his episcopal ordination on July 23, 2022, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer in Krishnagar, Nadia, in West Bengal.
He will be ordained by Bishop Theotonius Gomes, C.S.C., auxiliary bishop emeritus of Dhaka.
Cardinal Bo said the Diocese of Krishnagar “has a great missionary history and is a vibrant witness to the Catholic Faith in north India.”
“This is a moment of grace to the Catholic community in India,” said the cardinal, adding that the new bishop “brings an erudite scholarship and a pedagogical road map in imparting knowledge in various fields.”
“His administrative acumen has been tested at multilevel responsibilities in the church and educational sectors,” said Cardinal Bo. “His professional qualities are embedded in the pastoral concerns for all people,” he added.
Before his new assignment, Bishop Gomes was assistant director of novices and vice rector of the Nazareth Bhawan Novitiate in Dhajea, Darjeeling, since 2020.
Cardinal Bo said Bishop Gomes is “immensely qualified” to lead the diocese.
The Diocese of Krishnagar, one of seven suffragans of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Calcutta, is located about 10 kilometers north of the West Bengal capital Kolkata, previously Calcutta.
Cardinal Bo said the diocese is known in various parts of India for the generous men and women who offered their lives for the propagation of faith and evangelization.
“Christ needs to be proclaimed at all times, especially in these very critical times,” he said, adding that Saint Paul has always exhorted that the Church be at the service of the Word, “especially when powers of darkness try to challenge” it.
Bishop Gomes was born on Feb. 8, 1959, in the town of Ranaghat under the Diocese of Krishnagar.
Before he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco at Bandel as an aspirant, Bishop Gomes finished his novitiate at Sunnyside, Shillong.
An announcement from the Vatican said Bishop Gomes completed his studies in philosophy in Sonada, Darjeeling, and continued his theological studies at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
He received his doctorate in the science of education at PSU after completing his studies from 1997 to 2000.
Bishop Gomez made his religious vows as a Salesian of Don Bosco on May 24, 1979.
He was ordained a priest on July 22, 1989. He obtained his licentiate in pedagogy after finishing his studies from1988 to 1991.
Bishop Gomes previous assignments and responsibilities included as Dean of studies at Salesian College, Sonada (1991-1997); Rector of Salesian College, Sonada (2000-2006); Don Bosco School, Krishnagar (2007-2009); Assistant parish priest in Bongaon (2009-2010); Vice-Rector of Don Bosco School, Siliguri (2010-2013); Rector of Don Bosco School, Siliguri (2013-2014); and Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco of Kolkata Province (2014-2020).