The Bishop of Karwar, Most Rev Dr. Derek Fernandes was installed on Wednesday as the 6th bishop of the Diocese of Belgaum. He was appointed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Belgaum by Pope Francis on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
The appointment came after a period of one year, after the former Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev Dr. Peter Machado was appointed as the Archbishop of Bengaluru in May last year.
The Installation of Bishop Derek took place in the presence of Most Rev Dr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bengaluru, Most Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and President of the CCBI, India, Msgr Javier Fernandez, delegate of the Apostolic Nuncio from Rome in Delhi, Most Rev Bernard Moras, Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru and Bishops from all over India and our Civil Dignitaries.
Born on May 14, 1954, in Sirsi, Bishop Derek was ordained Priest for the Diocese of Belgaum on May 5, 1979. He has a doctorate in Canon Law from Urbaniana University, Rome. As a priest, he has worked in different capacities in the diocese and also served as the Administrator of the Diocese from 2004 to 2006, till he was consecrated Bishop of Karwar on March 20, 2007.
An able administrator, Bishop Derek has been blessed with exceptional communication skills. Apart from English, he knows Konkani, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, German, Italian and Tamil and is a proficient preacher with a soft corner for the poor and the marginalized.
He knows the diocese well and was instrumental in the construction of Churches and Educational Institutions and has worked closely with three former Bishops of the diocese, late
Bishop Ignatius Lobo, His Grace, Most Rev Bernard Moras, Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru, and the present Archbishop of Bengaluru, His Grace, Most Rev Peter Machado.
He is known for his affiliation for the people of other communities and he maintains a good relationship with them. The Canonical Possession and Installation Ceremony, the religious function that included the Eucharistic Celebration [Holy Mass] and the installation were held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Family Rosary of Fatima, Camp, Belagavi.
12 other Bishops and about 400 priests, Sisters and about 3000 Christians from across the region were a witness the ceremony.
Bishop Derek who arrived in Belagavi on Monday 17 the June, has urged people of all religions to pray for him so that he could be at the service of all the people of the region.
“God has been very kind in gifting us a Good Shepherd in Bishop Derek Fernandes, who is also known for his all-around personality. We thank and praise God for his goodness towards us”, Fr Eusebio Administrator of the Diocese of Belgaum stated.