Education to all will be my priority, says new Bishop

Mysore Diocese has now got a new Bishop with Rev. Msgr. K.A. William, who, at the age of 51, has become the second youngest person to be appointed as the Bishop of Mysore Diocese by Pope Francis.

Preparations are in full swing for the Episcopal Ordination and installation of the Bishop at St. Joseph’s Cathedral (St. Philomena’s Church) in city tomorrow (Feb. 27) at 4.30 pm. Former Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Antony Vazhapilly, who is now the Apostolic  Administrator of Mysore Diocese, will be the Principal Consecrator. Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Bengaluru and Most Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Swamy, Bishop, Diocese of Chikkamagaluru, will be the Co-Consecrators. Star of Mysore met Rev. Msgr, K.A. William for a brief chat. Here are the excerpts.

By S. Kenneth Shishir

SOM: At the age of 51, you are the second person to be appointed as the Bishop of Mysore Diocese. How do you feel?

Rev. William: I am extremely happy that I have been appointed as the Bishop that too at the place where I studied and was brought up. Vatican does not see the age while appointing the Bishop. Those above 35 years and below 75 years can be appointed. The selection process takes about two years and the Pope will take the final call. I am very happy and will serve the Diocese according to God’s will.

SOM: What are your priorities?

Rev. William: Mysore Diocese is an old Diocese and a lot of works have already been done. My priority as the Bishop will be education to all and take the works what my seniors had done to a higher level. Mysore Diocese, comprising four districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu has 136 education institutions, out of which nearly 100 educational institutions are in rural places which have contributed a lot in bringing rural students to the main stream. A research centre would be started at St. Philomena’s College very soon. Protecting Church properties will also be given priority and already a committee has been formed to take care of it.

SOM: You have a road with challenging tasks ahead of you. How do you take this?

Rev. William: I know that the road ahead is very challenging. But good works cannot be done by me alone. With the co-operation of everyone and inspiration from elder priests and past Bishops, I will try to strive for a better society.

Rev. Msgr. K.A. William: A profile

Born in Pollibetta in Kodagu on Feb. 27, 1965 to M.G. Antony and J. Philomena, Rev, K.A. William has a sister Mary Christina. Being the only son of his family, his parents offered him to the service of the Church.

Rev. William completed his primary and secondary education at Good Shepherd School, St Mary’s School and St Philomena’s High Schools in Mysuru and later joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in Bannimantap and at the same time studied at St. Philomena’s College in Mysuru.

After the completion of his formation in Mysuru and for his ongoing formation he entered into St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bengaluru where he completed his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a year of Regency at St. Antony’s Shrine Dornahalli in K.R. Nagar. He returned to St. Peter’s Seminary for his theological pursuit and he came back to Mysuru where he was ordained as the Deacon on May 27, 1992 by the then Bishop of Mysuru Rt. Rev. Francis Michelappa.

He then went to St Thomas Church, Thomayarpalyam for the Diaconate Ministry and on May 18, 1993, he was ordained as a Priest for the Diocese of Mysore by Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Pinto, the Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru who was the then Bishop of Shivamogga.

He has also acquired Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bengaluru and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Christianity from the University of Mysore.

In the Diocese of Mysore, he is a member of the Diocesan College of Consulters of the Diocesan Financial Council and of the Mysore Diocesan Society (MDS), as well as the Diocesan Public Relation Officer and the Defender of Bond at the Diocesan Tribunal. He was Teaching Parish Administration and Canon Law at Prabhodhana Major Seminary, Mysuru, as a visiting professor.

A lover of music, Rev. K.A. William has composed numerous lyrics and devotional hymns. He is a good pastor and able administrator and he has skilfully planned and built the new Church and Presbytery at Hinkal, the Priests Quarters Sanmaargi at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto at St. Philomena’s Church Compound, which is a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes at France.