Vatican City: (UCAN) – The seat of the Vijayawada Diocese has been vacant since 2012.
Pope Francis today appointed Fr. Joseph Raja Rao Thelegathoti as the new bishop of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
Fr. Thelegathoti is currently serving as the Bangalore Provincial Superior of the Montfort Missionaries (SMM).
The seat of the Vijayawada diocese has been vacant since 2012 after Pope Benedict transferred Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu to the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam.
Born on March 8, 1952, at Peddautapally, Fr. Thelegathoti entered the Minor Seminary of St. Ambrose at Nuzvid after obtaining a B.A. degree.
As a Montfort novice he studied philosophy at St. Peter’s Papal Seminary di Bangalore, and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Later, he obtained a licentiate in Biblical Theology from Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India, and a doctorate in Spiritual Theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.
After taking his final vows as member of the Montfort Missionaries on Jan. 31, 1980, he was ordained a priest on June 7, 1980.
After his ordination he held several posts, among them is he post of the rector of the Montfort minor seminary and the Montfort theologate in Bangalore, and in the province as well as in the general house in Rome.
Source: Vatican Radio