NASHIK, MARCH 12, 2008: In a grand liturgical ceremony, the newly appointed Archbishop Felix Machado was consecrated by Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, on Saturday, March 8, as the new Bishop of the Nashik diocese. Eighteen bishops from various dioceses in Maharashtra, including Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata –Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican, more than 200 priests, hundreds of nuns and about eight thousand people thronged the St. Xavier's High School grounds, Nashik Road, Nashik, to witness the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Machado. The Principal Consecrator Cardinal Gracias was assisted by co-consecrators Bishop Valerian D'Souza of Pune and Bishop Emeritus of Nashik Msgr. Bhalerao.
The consecration ceremony began at 11 am when the Bishop-elect was led in procession from the Shrine of Infant Jesus to the huge grounds, where a colossal Shamiyana and an altar was erected. The bishops were welcomed with an aarti by Suhasinis, who placed Tilaks on their foreheads. After the Liturgy of the Word, the Bishop-elect was presented to the Principal Consecrator for Episcopal Ordination. Diocesan Chancellor Fr. Peter Dias then read the Papal Bull - an official document signed by Pope Benedict XVI, appointing Archbishop Machado as the Bishop of Nashik – for which all the faithful thanked God. "This is the Day which the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it…", rejoiced Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai in his homily. Overjoyed with the appointment of Msgr. Felix as the new Bishop of Nashik, Bishop Dabre briefly narrated all the duties the newly consecrated Bishop has to fulfill and the responsibilities he has to shoulder while guiding his flock to the heavenly abode.
At the end of the Holy Eucharist, the newly ordained Bishop of Nashik, Archbishop Felix Machado imparted his first Episcopal Blessings to the thousands of faithful who had gathered to witness the consecration ceremony. Thereafter, Archbishop Felix Machado was felicitated by a cultural programme performed by various groups from the diocese.