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Pope Francis appointed Bishop Francis Kalist of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Pondicherry-Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu on March 19, 2022.
Archbishop Kalist was born on Nov. 23, 1957, in Reethapuram, Kanyakumari district of Kottar Diocese. He attended elementary school in Reethapuram and joined St. John’s minor seminary of Sardhana, Meerut, and later joined St. Albert’s major seminary, Ranchi, to study philosophy and theology. Archbishop Kalist was ordained priest on Dec. 30, 1982, in Meerut, and was incardinated in the same diocese.
After ordination he held the following positions: 1982-1984: vicar, Sacred Heart Church, Roorkee; 1984-1986: vicar, St. Pius Church, Bachraon; 1986-1989: pastor, St. James Church, Sirsanal Village; 1989-1995: pastor, St. Paul’s Church, Christnagar; 1995-1999: pastor, St. Francis Church, Swar; 1999-2002: rector, St. John’s minor seminary and administrator of Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Graces, Sardhana; 2002-2008: rector, St. Francis Xavier Regional Philosophate, Etmadpur, Archdiocese of Agra and from 1992 to 2002 he was diocesan director of evangelization.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the third bishop of Meerut on Dec. 3, 2008, at the age of 51 and was ordained bishop on Feb. 8, 2009. He is currently the chairman of the CCBI Commission for Women and the Episcopal Advisor of National Charismatic Service Team.
Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore became vacant on Jan. 27, 2021, following the resignation of late Archbishop Antony Anandarayar, who passed away on May 4, 2021, due to COVID-19-related illness.