TIMELINE

Benny Mario Travas

Archbishop

2021 Till Present

Archbishop Benny Mario Travas was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on 21 November 1966. He received his early education from St. Patrick’s High School, Karachi from where he graduated in 1983. He graduated from the Christ the King seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Karachi on 7 December 1990 and then spent seven years in pastoral work.

In 1997, he received a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. On his return to Pakistan he was professor of canon law at the National Catholic Institute of Theology, rector of St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Karachi, and Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Karachi. He was also a judge of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Karachi and a member of the College of Consultors and of the Priests’ Council. He was Vice President of the Catholic Board of Education.

On 13 June 2014, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Andrew Francis of Multan and appointed Travas as Apostolic Administrator. On 29 May 2015, Pope Francis appointed Travas Bishop of Multan. He received his episcopal consecration on 15 August 2015 from Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader, Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan.

In 2016 he was appointed Chair of Caritas Pakistan. In December 2016, at a meeting of Asian bishops, he described the principal challenges facing the Catholic Church in Pakistan as charges brought under the blasphemy laws and mob violence, as well as poverty, drug addiction, and the shortage of priests.

In October 2016 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In February 2019, he was elected secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

On 13 June 2020, he inaugurated St. Peter’s CSS Academy in Multan. The Academy encourages and facilitates Catholics to appear for the Central Superior Services (CSS) exams that lead to federal public service jobs. This is the first time a concerted effort has been made to promote Catholics into the public service.

In 2020 Travas went into isolation after he tested positive for Covid-19.

On 11 February 2021, Pope Francis appointed Travas to succeed Joseph Coutts as Archbishop of Karachi. Travas was installed as Archbishop of Karachi at the St Patrick’s Cathedral on 11 April 2021.

Joseph Cardinal Coutts

Archbishop

2012 Till 2021

Coutts was born in AmritsarBritish India on 21 July 1945 in a Goan family. His father Pedro Jose Couto was from Aldona, a village in North Goa, and the family’s home was at UcassaimAnil Joseph Thomas CoutoArchbishop of Delhi, is his first cousin. Coutts can speak several languages including English, Italian, German, French, Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi. He received his religious training at the Christ the King seminary in Karachi and was ordained a priest in LahorePakistan, on 9 January 1971.

After ordination, he completed ecclesiastical studies in Rome from 1973 to 1976 and then became professor of philosophy and sociology at Christ the King Regional Seminary, Karachi, rector of St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Lahore, and diocesan vicar general from 1986 to 1988.

On 5 May 1988 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Hyderabad in Pakistan by Pope John Paul II and consecrated a bishop on 16 September.[citation needed] He chose as his episcopal motto the word Harmony. He became Bishop of Hyderabad on 1 September 1990. On 27 June 1998 he was appointed Bishop of Faisalabad.

Coutts is the longtime Chairman of Caritas Pakistan and directed its earthquake relief efforts in 2005.

In Faisalabad he developed ties with Muslim scholars and clerics.[3] The Catholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtGermany, awarded Bishop Coutts the 2007 Shalom Prize for his commitment to interfaith dialogue in Pakistan. For 25 years, the award has been given to people and projects working for human rights.

On 25 January 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Coutts as Archbishop of Karachi to succeed Archbishop Evarist Pinto. Anticipating his return to the city where he had studied and taught, he stressed the challenges posed by the city’s refugee-driven population explosion and the “sporadic bursts of violence and terrorism” that had become a feature of life in Karachi.

In both Faisalabad and Karachi, he has campaigned against Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which he believes is too easily manipulated for personal attacks or to target religious minorities for insubstantial or pretended offenses. In Karachi he has established multiple connections for inter-religious dialog between Muslims and Catholics, aiming at both acceptance by the general population and increased understanding on the part of political and religious leaders.

Coutts was hospitalized with pneumonia and unable to travel to Rome to receive his pallium, the symbol of his status as a metropolitan archbishop, from Pope Benedict in June 2012.

He was president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 2011 to 2017. Pope Francis created Coutts a cardinal priest in the consistory of 28 June 2018, assigning him the titular church of San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio. He became the country’s second cardinal after Joseph Cordeiro (1918-1994) who was also of Goan origin.

Evarist Pinto

Archbishop

2004 Till 2012

Archbishop Evarist Pinto taught Sacred Scripture at Christ the King Seminary and from 1987 to 1993 was pastor of St. Lawrence’s Church, Karachi.

He obtained a doctorate in biblical theology at the Urbanian UniversityRome, and a master’s degree in sacred scripture at the “Biblicum”. On 17 February 2000 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Karachi by Pope John Paul II. He became Archbishop of Karachi on 5 January 2004 on the retirement of the incumbent Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira. The seat of the Archdiocese of Karachi is at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi. He selected as his motto “Preach the Good News to the Poor”.

On 30 April 2006 the Archdiocese attended the first-ever Catholic film screened in Pakistan. It was presented as “a historical moment” to the 450 guests at the premier of Muhjza [Miracle], held in St Paul’s Parish, Azam Basti.

In April 2008 Pinto performed the groundbreaking on the 2,044 square meter site of the new St. Pius X Minor Seminary.

The 12th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place in Rome from 5–26 October 2008. Archbishop Pinto represented the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan at the Synod.

In July 2011, Pinto attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new St. John Marie Vianney Church in St Paul’s Parish, Azam Basti. The Archdiocese plans to construct five new Churches in 2011.

On 25 January 2012, Archbishop Pinto resigned after reaching the age of 75. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad as his replacement.

Simeon A. Pereira

Archbishop

1994 Till 2002

Pereira was educated at St Patrick’s High School, Karachi. He received his religious training at the Papal Seminary, Kandy, Sri Lanka and was ordained a priest on 24 August 1951. He first worked as secretary to Franciscan Archbishop James Cornelius van Miltenburg of Karachi, and Chaplain to the Sisters and flock at Manora.

His next posting was Father-in charge of the Don Bosco Boarding for boys in Karachi. In 1952, he proceeded to Quetta as assistant rector of St. Pius X Minor Seminary. A few years later, he was appointed Parish Priest of Saint Francis of Assisi Church, Old Haji Camp. His next appointment was as Parish Priest of Saint John’s Church, Drigh Road, Karachi.

Following the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, he worked with Father Liberius, a scholar and linguist, to introduce Urdu into the liturgy.

On 3 July 1971, Pope Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. On 17 December 1973 he was appointed Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. He was bishop of Rawalpindi for nearly 20 years. On 22 March 1993 he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi. He succeeded Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro as Archbishop of Karachi on 11 February 1994 and retired from that office on 20 November 2002.

Pereira celebrated the silver jubilee of his episcopal ordination on 4 October 1996, with a bilingual Mass concelebrated with retired Franciscan Bishop Bonaventure Patrick Paul.

After retiring in November 2002, he served as pastor of St. Thomas Church in Malir and as chaplain of the Dominican nuns at the Monastery of the Angels in Landhi. He was also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

Pereira died on 22 August 2006.

Anthony T. Lobo

Auxiliary Bishop

1982 till 1993

Lobo was born in Karachi, British India (now Pakistan) on 4 July 1937, to Joseph and Ermina Lobo, Catholics of Goan origin. He received his early education at Saint Patrick’s High School and his religious training at the Christ the King seminary in Karachi, and was ordained a priest in Karachi on 8 January 1961. He also has degrees from the University of KarachiHarvard and Paris.

Bishop Lobo made important contributions to education in the country. He was Principal of St. Lawrence’s Boys School, Karachi and later of Saint Patrick’s High School, Karachi. In November 1986 he founded St. Michael’s Convent School. He was the author of many books on education. In recognition of his services to the cause of literature and education, the President of Pakistan conferred on him the Presidential Pride of Performance Award in 1990.

In his efforts to bring improvements in the Pakistani education system, he sought assistance from Australia to create the Notre Dame Institute of Education in Karachi in 1991.

Joseph Cardinal Cordeiro

Archbishop

1958 till 1994

Cordeiro was born to a Goan family which hailed from the village of Salvador do Mundo in Goa. He was educated at St Patrick’s High School, Karachi, the University of Bombay and Oxford University. He received his religious training at the Papal Seminary in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and was ordained a priest in Karachi, Pakistan on 24 August 1946.

From 1946 to 1948, he did pastoral work in Hyderabad and Karachi. He then attended Oxford University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree. In 1950 he was appointed Vice Principal of St Patrick’s High School, Karachi. From 1952 he served as principal of St Francis Grammar School in Quetta and as rector of the St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Quetta. On 7 May 1958, he was appointed Archbishop of Karachi, with his seat at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi.

He attended the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1967), the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1969) and the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1971). He was elected a member of the Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops (1971).

He was the first Pakistani cardinal, a position elevated by Pope Paul VI (1973). He attended both papal conclaves in 1978, and was mentioned as papabile by Time Magazine after Pope John Paul I‘s death.

He wrote a series of articles for the Archdiocesan weekly Christian Voice called “Lessons of a Lifetime”, a reflection on his life experiences.

From 1958 until his death, Cordeiro was president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

He was also since 1972 the secretary of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

 

Cordeiro died on 11 February 1994 at Holy Family Hospital with complications due to cancer.[10] Cordeiro was succeeded by Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira.

Alcuin van Miltenburg, OFM

Archbishop

1948 Till 1958

James Cornelius van Miltenburg O.F.M., also known as Alcuin van Miltenburg (14 September 1909 – 14 March 1966), was a Dutch prelate of the Catholic Church who was a missionary bishop in Pakistan, the first bishop of Karachi and of Hyderabad, Pakistan.He was born on 14 September 1909 in HarmelenNetherlands. He was ordained a Priest of the Order of Friars Minor on 31 March 1935.

Pope Pius XII named him the first Bishop of Karachi on 20 May 1948 and he received his episcopal consecration on 3 October. He became archbishop when the see of Karachi was raised to the status of an archdiocese in 1950.

Appointed the Holy See’s Apostolic Delegate on 17 September 1950, he represented the Holy See in the Pakistan. When the status of the delegation was raised to of an internuncio, a status that anticipates the appointment of an official with rank of ambassador and an inappropriate role for the ordinary of a diocese, van Miltenburg led the internunciature as its chargé d’affaires and the office of internuncio remained vacant until after his departure from Karachi.

Pope transferred him to the newly created Diocese of Hyderabad, Pakistan, allowing him to keep the personal title of archbishop.

He was also a Council Father at all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council.

He died in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on 14 March 1966.

Salesius Lemmens OFM

Ecclesiastical Superior

1935 till 1942

Lemmens came from a large family and was raised in a devout Catholic home. A younger sister, Gertrude Lemmens, also became a noted missionary in India. He attended a college run by the Friars Minor in Venray, and 7 September 1922 was received into the Franciscan Order at the Alverna friary in Wijchen.

Lemmens professed solemn vows on 27 March 1927. On 18 March 1928 he was installed as a subdeacon. And was ordained a priest on 10 March 1929 in Oostrum.

After his ordination, Lemmens was assigned to the friary at Woerden and then in August 1931 as an assistant pastor at the Franciscan church on the Laanderstraat in Heerlen. Additionally he wrote a column in the Dagblad de Limburger called From the Scriptures. He gave religious instruction and was also chairman of the Department of Young Workmen in the government. In March 1934 he was appointed spiritual adviser to the St. Clemens Technicians Association. He served in a similar capacity for the Young Guard.

Scroll to Top