Bangalore 17 January, 2019 (CCBI): His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Stephen Antony Pillai (67), of the clergy of Vellore, Tamilnadu, until now Director of the Diocesan Retreat Centre and Professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli, as the new Bishop of Tuticorin, Tamilnadu. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Excellency Most Rev. Yvon Ambroise from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Tuticorin, according to canon 401§ 1 on reaching age limit. This ecclesiastical provision was made public in Rome on Thursday, 17th January, 2019, at noon local time, corresponding to 16:30 hours, Indian Standard Time. Most Rev. Yvon Ambroise will be the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tuticorin until the day of the canonical taking possession of the new Bishop.
Fr. Stephen Antony Pillai was born in Keezha Manakudy, Diocese of Kottar, on 22 June, 1952 and was ordained priest on 7 May, 1979 for the Diocese of Vellore. He entered Santhome Minor Seminary, Chennai, in 1969. He did his Philosophy at Arul Anandar College, Madurai and Theology at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli. He obtained a Master Degree in Theology from St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, and later a Doctorate in Biblical Theology from Urbanian University, Rome in 1989. He knows Tamil, Malayalam, English, Italian, German and French.
He served the Diocese in the following ministries: Assistant Parish Priest in Chetpet (1979-1980); Asst. Parish Priest in Polur (1980-1981); Parish Priest in Thachanbali (1983-1986). From 1986-1989 he did his studies in Rome and later served as missionary at Guadeloupe, France (1990-1996). On his return, he was Director of Pastoral Centre, Vellore (1996-1999), Professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli (1999-2001), Parish Priest of the Cathedral, Vellore (2001-2002), Vicar General and Parish Priest of the Cathedral (2002-2005), Vice Rector and Professor, St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli (2006-2010), Parish Priest and Vicar Forane, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Chetpet, and member of the Bishop’s Council, Vellore (2010-2016). He was visiting professor at Don Bosco Major Seminary, Chennai, and Pallottine Major Seminary, Mysore (2016-2017). Since 2017, he is the Director of the Diocesan Retreat Centre, and visiting professor at St. Paul’s Seminary, Tiruchirapalli.