The 6th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Karachi Benny Mario Travas installed in the metropolis
by Suzanna Joseph
Karachi: A new Archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, was installed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi. The outdoor Eucharistic Celebration was kept in-line with SOP’s issued by the Government of Pakistan due to COVID19.
Although a limited number of people witnessed this historical moment while the rest of the laity from all over the world watched the live streaming on Social Media. On this joyous occasion the Clergy, religious and family members of the newly installed Archbishop faithful were gathered.
The Principal Celebrant at the beginning was the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See in Pakistan H.E Archbishop Christophe Zakhia El-Kassis accompanied by H.E. Cardinal Joseph Coutts and Bishop Benny Mario Travas.
The former Bishop of Multan Diocese, Benny Mario Travas was elevated to the Archdiocese of Karachi, with the dignity of Archbishop recently by His Holiness Pope Francis on 11th February 2021.
Opening speech by Cardinal Joseph Coutts
In his opening speech Cardinal Joseph Coutts said, “I have tried my best to serve the diocese with great devotion which would have been impossible without the support and love of the congregation”, he continued.
“When a Bishop is appointed, he has three major roles to play. First and foremost is the sanctification of his office, the sacraments and sanctification of his people. Secondly, the teaching office that is to teach the correct doctrine to the church and to the faithful. Last, the governance of the diocese. Which becomes difficult because we may be trained in theology and biblical studies but not for the administration and finance”, he added.
“Karachi is blessed with rich HR and finance people. The ability to use these resources is the key for the success of this diocese. I hope our volunteers will continue to serve with the same generosity in serving the “New Bishop”, he concluded.
In continuation the Apostolic Nuncio addressed, the faithful stating; “It’s an important moment for all of us, as we celebrate the installation of Archbishop Benny Mario Travas. He starts governing his ministry in the Archdiocese of Karachi and governing it in the spirit of love, care and understanding”, he continued.
“A big diocese of Karachi needs to understand and listen to everybody. You all must stand behind your Archbishop and try to follow his instructions. Cardinal Coutts has been serving with great dedication since 2012. It’s a long time I must ask you to pray for him also. For all that he has done for the diocese. Let us also remember Archbishop Emeritus Evarist Pinto for all his efforts”, he added.
H.E. Christophe Zakhia El-Kassis then passed on a papal decree for the appointment of Archbishop Benny. Which was read by Rev. Father Arthur Charles in English and Urdu.
The overwhelmed and truly humbled Bishop Benny stepped onto the podium for his homily.
“My Lord and my God. He started with a story told by St. Teresa of Avilla. How the devil appeared to her disguised as Christ. St. Teresa was not fooled even for a second. She immediately dismissed Satan. However, before leaving, the devil asked; ‘How could you be so sure I was not Christ? She answered, ‘You didn’t have any wounds.’ Christ has wounds!”
“Brothers and sisters, wounds are something we hide from others and learn to keep silent, but if we turn to the Gospel of the day; Jesus asked Thomas to touch his wounds, so that he does not doubt but believe. When we reflect upon wounds, we know there are different types. They are slight, visible, and deep and some are not even visible. However, Jesus uses his wounds as a way to knowing and believing in Christ. Reflect then how we can use the wounds we encounter in our lives to come to a strong faith in Jesus.”
About Bishop Benny Mario Travas
Bishop Travas was born in Karachi in 1966 and ordained a priest on Dec. 7, 1990. He served as Vicar General of Karachi Archdiocese and was ordained Bishop of Multan on Aug. 15, 2015. He has also served as a professor of canon law at the National Catholic Institute of Theology in Karachi.