Born on the 28th of September 1936 at Puthur in South Kanara of Karnataka State, as the fifth child of Francis and Appoline Concessao, Vincent Michael Concessao has four brothers and three sisters, now settled in different parts of India. His eldest sisters Gerosa, Religious in the Congregation of Bethany Sisters Mangalore, along with his grandmother, were partly responsible for his vocation.
Vincent's father expired shortly after he joined the seminary. His mother too is no more. She left for her reward about seven years ago.
The young Vincent was educated at St. Francis Xavier Primary School. Thereafter, at St Philomena's Boy’s High School, Puthur, Karnataka from were he completed his secondary education. Perhaps inspired by the example of an uncle, who was a priest, he joined St. Joseph's Seminary at Jeppu in Mangalore in 1961, and was, ordained on 4th December 1961 in Mangalore. The young Fr. Vincent was drawn towards the needs of the North, which he knew had to be addressed.
An episode early in his life is recalling, as it reveals an important aspect of his personality. A week before the young Vincent was to leave his house and to commit himself to the service of the Church; one of his loved one had a serious stroke of paralysis. He was advised by many to defer his plans; but he would not. He had set his hands to the plough, and would not turn back. This total dedication to his vocation has characterized Archbishop Vincent ever since. Recalling this event, the Archbishop observe: "Had I not taken the plunge then, perhaps I would never have entered the orders. Of course, it was a painful and very difficult decision. But, by god's grace, I was able to find my peace and settle down in due course".
Fr. Vincent came to Delhi in the year 1962 and was appointed as Assistant Parish Priest at the Sacred Heart cathedral, New Delhi. After three years of pastoral ministry he went for his postgraduate studies in sociology at the Loyola University, Chicago, U.S.A. Having completed his Master's at Loyola and a summer course on Development at the International Coady Institution in Canada, he returned to Delhi and was appointed Director of Social Action in 1970.
Of the many fruitful areas of his involvement, Archbishop Vincent remembers with particular gratification the work he did in the resettlement colonies of Delhi. True to his character, he took up residence during this time (1977-85) in an ordinary rented Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Janata tenement at Madangir, identifying himself wholly with the people he served. While he was still serving as Director of Social Action of the Archdiocese of Delhi, now christened "Chetanalaya", he was given additional charges as Rector of Pratiksha, the Residence of Delhi Major Seminarians studying at the Vidyajyoti College of Theology. He led a team of priest to set up a new mission in Rohtak, a district in the state of Haryana. He also served as the president of the Catholic Priests Conference of India.
In the year 1991 he was called to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi where he had first launched his pastoral ministry, and was appointed as it Parish Priest. Two years later, he was elected to be the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Delhi. In 1995, he was elevated to the episcopate and was made the auxiliary Bishop of Delhi and titular Bishop of Mascula.
Father Vincent Concessao has been associated with many Church-related organizations based in Delhi, such as Caritas India, Indo-German Social Service Society (IGSSS) et cetera.
He was one of the earliest members on the Catholic Priests' Conference of India (CPCI) and was later elected as its President, a post that he held until his appointment as Bishop.
His Episcopal Ordination took place on the 1st of April 1995, New Delhi. He chose "To BEAR WITNESS TO THE LORD" as his motto and his Coat of Arms indicates his involvement with the people, being in the world and serving it by radiating Gospel values.
"Working among the poor" the Archbishop, reminisced with deep emotion and fervour, “has been a great experience. I have often been humbled by the generosity that I came across among them, and have been struck by their awesome power to endure privation and suffering without grumbling. It has left a permanent impression on me”. He is not a person to whom poor come to meet but a one who himself goes to them.
In 1998 he was appointed Archbishop of Agra where he stayed till the turn of the century when he was transferred back to Delhi and installed as its Fifth Archbishop in November 2000.
Archbishop Vincent has been very much involved in the struggle for the rights of Dalits as part of his commitment to human rights. He is also an active member of various inter-religious and multi-religious organizations, which are committed to social harmony and peace through dialogue and collaboration in projects for the common good of all.
Archbishop Vincent has got great love for music and reading. He also loves to explore new places but hardly finds time for his leisure activities.
- St. Francis Xavier primary School
- St. Philomena’s Boys’ High School
- Philosophy + theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore
- Post Graduate Studies in Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago, USA
- Developmental studies at the Coady International Institute, Canada
- 1961 - Ordained a priest, Assistant parish Priest at the Sacred Heart Cathedral
- 1970 - Appointed Diocesan Director of Social Action, Set up Chetanalaya, Parish Priest in Madangir, New Delhi, Rector of Pratiksha, Led team to set up new mission in Rohtak, President of the Catholic Priest’s Conference of India
- 1991 - Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Elected Vicar General
- 1995 - Appointed Auxiliary bishop of Delhi
- 1998 - Appointed Archbishop of Agra
- 2000 - Appointed Archbishop of Delhi.
- 2000-2004 - Vice President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India
Currently he is the:
- President of the National United Christian Forum
- President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (F.A.B.C) Office for Evangelization.
- President of the Regional Bishops’ Conference of northern Region
- Working President of the Foundation for Religious Harmony and Universal Peace
- President of the Holy Family Hospital
May the Lord shower his blessings abundantly on all the readers of mangalorean.com and peace and harmony prevail in their lives.
This website is a wonderful platform to interact and communicate among the people of mangalorean diaspora, spread across the globe. I hope the site continues to further strengthen the bonds among them through its sharing of information and exchange of views and ideas.
I have no doubt that this yeoman service would go a long way in enabling the people to appreciate their heritage and keep themselves upto date regarding developments that take place. My best wishes to all those involved in this noble endeavor.
God bless one and all,
Vincent M. Concessao
Mangalorean.com wishes Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao all the very best in his future endeavors.
Submitted By: Auden Mascarenhas with inputs from Fr. Manikya Raju and Ronnie D’souza.