Mumbai gifted with a Green Bishop by Pope- Bishop Allwyn D’Silva.

 

Elsie Gabriel

 

The Vatican announced the appointment of two new auxiliary Bishops in December 2016, Fr Allwyn D’Silva and Fr. Barthol Barretto, for the archdiocese of Bombay.

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Fr Allwyn, 69, is serving as parish priest of St. John the Baptist Church, Thane. Actively involved in environmental concerns, he is also secretary of the Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Allwyn D’Silva, of the Clergy of Bombay, who was the deserving Episcopal Vicar and Secretary of the Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (F.A.B.C.) as Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, assigning him the Titular See of Dura..

On the 28th of January Bishop Allwyn D’Silva was officially ordained at Don Bosco Church grounds Matunga Mumbai. Over 12,000 faithful flocked to see him ordained. The ceremony was magnificent. The fight against the churches Climate Change efforts in Mumbai gets a big boost with this ordination.

 

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I have known Bishop Allwyn to be a true green environmental leader, keeping his flock in a very grounded manner, leading the way for green warriors to team up and network, to move forward. Bishop Allwyn has kept the Climate Desk alive and goal oriented year after year here in Mumbai. I am glad as the Mentor of Climate Reality and Founder of the Young Environmentalists NGO, to be on the Climate Desk group here with the church in Mumbai archdiocese and look forward to working more strongly than ever with the Churches climate desk. Bishop Allwyn is a true inspiration to the church’s efforts to honour our Planet and Creation.He strongly believes that we as citizens need to have a good relationship with our Creation in order to save it and help it to grow as a clean green planet to pass down to our next generation.

 

Over the past two decades, Bishop Allwyn has been trying to reduce the impact of global warming through several impactful awareness meetings and initiatives, environmental education at schools and published academic papers to make all Mumbai parishes become eco-friendly.

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The Church in Asia is becoming increasingly aware and concerned regarding the ecological problem and its ethical implications and Bishop Allwyn has shown the way. Local churches are collaborating with civil society to care for the integrity of creation. The local concerns of polluting the atmosphere, indiscriminate mining or use of artificial  pesticides, dumping of e-wastes now extends to the macro issue of global warming and climate change as well as the need for intergenerational justice. The impact of Climate Change has been felt in various regions in Mumbai and Bishop Allwyn responded well to the urgency for a Church response and gathered his green flock very wisely to head onto a pragmatic action plan.

Bishop Allwyn has been a visiting professor at St Pius College for years now, a seminary in Goregaon, where as a priest Fr. Allwyn started an ‘eco-club’ in 2012 that manages a garden with 26 species of 3,000 trees, 15 species of butterflies, 22 species of birds and seven species of insects and reptiles on campus. Additionally, his efforts gave way to a kitchen garden and a rainwater harvesting project at Our Lady of Nazareth High School, Bhayander (West).

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Rev. Fr. Allwyn D’Silva was born in Mumbai on 20th April, 1948. After his schooling, he entered the Seminary in St. Pius X College, Archdiocese of Bombay, where he did his philosophy and theology. He obtained a B.A. in Political and Economic Sciences from Delhi University in 1973, and a M. A. in the same subject from the University of Mumbai in 1978. He was ordained priest on 19th April, 1975 for the Archdiocese of Bombay. He served the Archdiocese in the following assignments: Assistant Priest of St. Anthony’s Church, Vakola (1975-1976); Ministry at National Vocation Centre, Pune (1976-1977); in-charge of Vocations (1977-1986); Assistant Priest and later Parish Priest of St. Jude Church, Jeri-Meri, Mumbai (1986-1994); Dean of South East Salsette Deanery (1991-1994); Priest in-charge of St. Jude Church, Malad East (1994-2000); Priest in-charge of St. Anthony’s Church, Dharavi (2000-2007); Dean of North Mumbai Deanery (2002-2007); Parish Priest of Our Lady of Nazareth Parish, Bhayandar (2007-2011). Since June 2011 he has been Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Church, Thane and since 2012 also Episcopal Vicar. He has been until now member of the Pastoral Council, Priests Council, Commission for Justice and Peace; he is Co-President of Centre for Peace Trust, Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Environment, Director of Prison Ministry India, Mumbai, and Secretary of Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (F.A.B.C.). He has taught for over 35 years at St. Pius X College, Mumbai.

Hail to Mumbai’s Green Bishop- Climate Reality Project congratulates our new Climate Change Shepherd!

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