(July 03, 2013) Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Fr.Joseph Arshad as the new
bishop of Faisalabad Diocese in Pakistan. Currently he is a councillor at the Apostolic
Nunciature in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Fr. Arshad was born August 25, 1964 in Lahore. After his school studies, he began his priestly formation at St. Mary's Minor Seminary in Lahore. Later, he continued his theological studies at Christ the King Seminary in Karachi. After his ordination November 1, 1991, he was made the Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph ‘s Church and also given the charge of St. Peter's School in Kamokee-Gujranwala.
In 1995, he went to Rome where he completed his Canon Law studies at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome and then underwent training as a Vatican diplomat at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. Four years later in 1999, he rendered diplomatic service at the Apostolic Nunciature in Malta until 2002. From then on until 2010, he served at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Madagascar and finally in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The Diocese of Faisalabad, which is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lahore, had been lying vacant since January 2012, following the transfer of Archbishop Joseph Coutts to the Metropolitan See of Karachi. Faisalabad Diocese has an area of
35,300sqm and a population of 38,265,000, of whom 150,000 are Catholics
Pope Francis on Wednesday also appointed the Archbishop of Raipur - the capital of Chattisgarh State. Bishop Victor Henry Thakur of Bettiah, Bihar State has been transferred as the new Archbishop of Raipur, in the place of retiring Archbishop Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel.
Raipur was made a diocese in 1973 and elevated to the level of Archdiocese in 2004. It has an area of 60,819 sqm and a population of over one crore, 15 lakhs, of which nearly 49 thousand are Catholics.