Bangalore 22 July 2017: His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Peter Sebastian Goveas (62), of the clergy of Bhagalpur, as the new Bishop of Bettiah, Bihar on Saturday 22nd July, 2017. The see of Bettiah has been vacant since 13 July, 2013, when Pope Francis transferred Bettiah’s first Bishop Victor Henry Thakur to the Archdiocese of Raipur. Fr. Peter Sebastian Goveas was born on 8 February 1955 at Hosabettu, Hospet, Mangalore, Diocese of Mangalore, Karnataka. After the secondary school, he entered St. John’s Regional Minor Seminary, Bhagalpur, to become a priest for the Diocese of Bhagalpur. He did his philosophy studies at St. Albert’s College, Ranchi (1975) and at Morning Star College, Barrackpore, West Bengal (1975-1978) and his theology at St. Albert’s College, Ranchi (1979-1983). He did his regency at Maheshmunda (1989-1979). He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Calcutta University (1978).
He was ordained priest on 9 December 1983 for the Diocese of Bhagalpur. He served the Diocese in the following assignments: Assistant Parish Priest at Christ the King Church, Damruhat (1983); Parish Priest at Damruhat (1984-1988); Parish Priest at St. Pius X Church, Maheshmunda (1988-1997); Parish Priest at Sacred Heart Church, Susni (1997-2009); Parish Priest at St. Clare’s Church, Dakaita (from 2009 till date). In 2013 he was also Administrator of St. Thomas School, Dakaita, and in 2014 of St. Thomas’s School, Damri; Dean of Lalmatia Deanery (2009-2013), Diocesan Consultor from 2008 and Member of the Priests Council from 2009; from 2013 till date Vicar General of the Diocese of Bhagalpur.
Bettiah Diocese, erected in 1998, is a suffragan of Patna Archdiocese. Its jurisdiction extends over an area of more than 10,500 sq km, where Catholics number nearly 6,000 out of a total population of 14.5 million. Pastoral care is provide 55 priests (19 diocesan and 36 religious), 43 religious brothers and 133 sisters in 13 parishes. There are 13 major seminarians aspiring to be priests.