The proverb says that ‘the good son comes home’. Last Tuesday, 20 December 2022, a Redemptorist Missionary, whose first assignment during his priestly ministry 30 years ago was at the National Shrine of Aparecida, returned to the “Casa da Mãe Aparecida” (Home of our Mother of Aparecida) for his Episcopal Ordination.
Msgr Geraldo de Paula Souza, C.Ss.R., became Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Niterói-RJ.
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Niterói-RJ, Msgr José Francisco Resende Dias, was the principal consecrator at the celebration. The two other co-consecrators for Bishop-elect were Msgr Jose Luiz Majella Delgado, C.Ss.R., Metropolitan Archbishop of Pouso Alegre-RJ, and Msgr Rogerio Augusto das Neves, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of São Paulo – SP.
Fr Marlos Aurélio da Silva, C.Ss.R., Provincial Superior of the Redemptorist of São Paulo, and Fr Douglas Alves Fontes, of the Archdiocese of Niterói, were the assisting presbyters at the Ordination of Msgr Geraldo.
The episcopal motto chosen by Msgr Geraldo de Paula Souza is “As the one who serves” (Lk 22:27), revealing that, like St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, he will follow Christ’s teaching to serve the poor, and proclaiming them the Gospel and the importance of service.
In his homily, Msgr José Francisco Resende Dias welcomed the appointment made by Pope Francis on 19 October 2022:
“My heart as a bishop is happy today because I have the grace and joy of ordaining you a bishop in this Home of our Mother of Aparecida, which speaks so much to your heart and the hearts of Brazilians. Our Archdiocese of Niterói was already living Advent in expectation of the arrival of an Auxiliary Bishop, and in this Advent of 2022, that hope comes true. I thank God for your “yes”, I thank God and the Holy Father Pope Francis and the Apostolic Nuncio Msgr Giambattista Diquattro for the gift granted to our Archdiocesan Church of Niterói”.
Fr Marlos Aurélio da Silva celebrated the ordination of the 55th Redemptorist Bishop. The Provincial Superior reaffirmed that Msgr Geraldo will continue to belong to the Congregation, now serving God’s people in the Archdiocese of Niterói.