Most Rev. A.A. S. Durairaj SVD, the bishop of Khandwa, was installed as the fourth Archbishop of Bhopal on Saturday at 3.30 pm in the premises of St. Joseph's Co-ed School in the midst of large gathering of the faithful.
The ceremony began with tribal dance taken all the bishops and priests solemnly to the dais. The religious ceremony began with welcome address by Abp. Leo Cornelio SVD, emeritus. Later the installation ceremony began by presenting the Apostolic letter of mandate to be the Archbishop of Bhopal with the reply of the gathering Thanks be to God followed by faith and oath of fidelity to the church taken by the new Archbishop of Bhopal. Archbishop Leo Cornelio SVD handed over the crozier to the new Archbishop Durairaj and installed him at the cathedra, the official chair of the Archbishop by Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the nuncio of India and Nepal and Madurai Archbishop Antony Pappusamy.
The public felicitation began at 6.30 pm with the presence of Vishwas Sarang - the minister of medical education of M.P., Deepak Joshi- ex education minister, and with large number of MLAs, IAS officer and dignitaries. They were welcomed with the dance presented by the St. Xaviers school, BHEL followed by felicitation speech from Nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop of Madurai Antony Pappusamy, bishop of UIjjain Sebastian Vadakel MST, Fr. Joemon SVD (Provincial Superior SVD, Indore), Sr. Pavithra CMC (Provincial Superior, Bhopal), and Mrs. Bincy (Secretary, Pastoral council).
As a part of celebration of the installation, large cake was cut with the accompaniment of new Archbishop, bishops and well wishers followed by an emotional speech from new Archbishop Sebastin Durairaj and outgoing Archbishop Leo Cornelio.
There were colourful dances presented by Carmel Convent School, BHEL, St. Josephs Girls School, Idgah hills and St. Josephs Co-ed school, Arera Colony. Fr. Mathew V.C. the coordinator of the ceremony thanked all the committee members, dignitaries and public for their gracious presence and prayerful wishes.
Many bishops, hundreds of priests, Christians and many more dignitaries from different dioceses of M.P. participated in the installation ceremony. The ceremony came to an end with National Anthem.