FALL RIVER – The Fall River Diocese installed its first Brazilian-born bishop Wednesday afternoon during a mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Fall River.
Edgar M. da Cunha, of Brazil, became the eighth bishop of the Fall River Diocese.
Da Cunha previously was the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. since 2003.
The Fall River diocese encompasses all of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.
The installation took place at the 2 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, September 24, at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Fall River.
Priests, permanent deacons, representatives of religious communities serving in the diocese, delegates from diocesan ministries and institutions, and two representatives from each of the 84 parishes in the diocese joined with family and friends of Bishop da Cunha for the event.
As Metropolitan Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., installed Bishop da Cunha as Bishop of Fall River in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano.
The Rite of Installation followed the reception of Bishop da Cunha at the door of the Cathedral and included remarks by retiring Fall River Bishop George W. Coleman; an introduction by Cardinal O’Malley; the reading by Archbishop Vigano of the Apostolic Letter of Appointment naming Bishop da Cunha as the Bishop of Fall River; the presentation of the Letter to the Diocesan College of Consultors; and the escorting of Bishop da Cunha to his cathedra –or, chair- at which he took possession of the Diocese.
Bishop da Cunha was principal celebrant and homilist of the Mass. Among principal concelebrants were two preceding bishops of Fall River: Bishop Coleman, who has led the diocese since 2003; and Archbishop Emeritus Daniel A. Cronin of Hartford, Conn., who served here from 1970 to 1992. Cardinal O’Malley, who was Bishop of Fall River from 1992 to 2002, will preside at the Mass.
Lectors were Claire McManus, S.T.L., who is director of Faith Formation in the Fall River Diocese, and Osvaldo Pacheco, a parishioner of Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.
The Fall River Diocesan Choir, whose members come from 13 parishes in the diocese, led music during the Mass together with representatives of the Brazilian Music Ministry and the Hispanic Music Ministry in the diocese. Music director and organist was Madeleine Grace and cantors were Elizabeth Heath and James LaFlame.