Tuticorin Diocese appoints layman to be the secretary of SC/ST Commission

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By Sr. Robancy A Helen

Tuticorin, 15 February 2023: Antony Edward Eugene, an assistant headmaster of St. Francis Xavier Higher Secondary School, has been appointed as the third lay secretary of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) Commission of the Diocese of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, south India.

The appointment letter was signed on February 9, 2023, by Bishop Antony Stephen of Tuticorin, informing that the new secretary would take charge on February 11.

The new secretary succeeded the late MM Hartmann, who died of a heart attack on December 18, 2022.

Eugene has 27 years of teaching experience and is the district president of the TNHSPGTA (Teacher’s Association). He has led many agitations.

He has been involved with the Dalit movements for 25 years.

He has written more than 20 plays for school and composed more than 100 songs for liturgy. It includes social awareness songs.

He was a motivational speaker for students for 20 years. He conducted debates and orchestras. He was an NSS program officer for seven years and conducted medical camps and eye camps.

He has authored many Tamil poems. The latest one was on St. Xavier and Covid-19. He is also the diocesan monitoring committee member.

He was an ex-seminarian in the Order of the Capuchins for seven years, where he completed philosophy and regency.

Tamil Nadu Bishop’s Council, Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes congratulates and welcome the new secretary.

We thank Bishop Antony Stephen for appointing him. It is a great opportunity for the Dalit Christians in the diocese of Tuticorin to be in the decision-making level says George Rajendran, the South Zonal Coordinator of TNBC SC/ST Commission.

It is also a sign of acceptance of the people that the Dalit Christians need to be in the Church leadership.  “Efforts will be made to appoint competent and enthusiastic Dalit priests as secretaries for the SC/ST/BC commissions at the regional and diocesan levels. A lay Dalit person will also be appointed as Joint Secretary”  (96 C, Dalit Empowerment Policy, 2016) adds Rajendran

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