Imphal: Rev Fr Linus Neli (66) has been appointed as the next Archbishop of Imphal Diocese, Manipur, appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis on October 7. Born on April 26, 1957, in Imphal, Rev Fr Linus Neli was ordained a priest on December 20, 1984, for the Archdiocese of Imphal.
F Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Most Rev Dominic Lumon (75) D.D. Archbishop of Imphal upon superannuation. Archbishop elect Rev Fr Linus Neli replaces him in the next three months.
A renowned scholar-priest, Rev Fr Linus Neli obtained his doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urbaniana University of Rome after his studies in philosophy at Christ the King College in Shillong and theology at the Papal Seminary in Pune. He served as the judicial vicar of the Imphal Archdiocese and the Director of the Retreat, Centre in Imphal before this appointment.
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It is worth noting that both the outgoing and succeeding Archbishops, Most Rev Dominic Lumon and Rev Fr Linus Neli are both from the Naga tribe in Manipur. The former is from the Monsang tribe of Chandel District, while the latter is from the Mao tribe from Senapati District.
According to Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), the Canonical National Episcopal Body which is the fourth largest Bishops’ Conferences of the world and largest in Asia with 132 dioceses and 190 active and retired bishop members, Rev Fr Linus Neli held the following positions:
Dean of Studies at the Minor Seminary of Imphal (1985-1986); Secretary to the Archbishop of Imphal (1986-1988); Assistant Parish Priest of Sacred Heart in Hundung (1988-1989); Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of Imphal (1994-1998); Principal of the Sacred Heart Institute in Hundung (1998-2004); Associate Director at St. John’s Medical College Hospital in Bangalore (2004-2007); Vicar General of Imphal (2007-2010); parish priest of Mary Help of Christians in Ukhrul (2010-2013); National director of Caritas India (2013-2014); Rector of Oriens Theological College in Shillong (2014-2017); Parish Priest and Principal of the San Pietro Institute in Monsang Pantha (2016-2019); since 2019 so far, Director of the Archdiocesan Retreat Center and Judicial Vicar of the Metropolitan Court of Imphal.