59 A-1-7 Ring Road,
Krishna Dt., A.P., India
Email: [email protected]
Pope Francis on Dec. 19, 2015 appointed Father Joseph Raja Rao Thelegathoti as the bishop of Vijayawada diocese.
He was the provincial superior of the Montfort Missionaries (SMM), Bangalore. The seat of the Vijayawada diocese has been vacant since 2012 after Pope Benedict transferred Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu to the archdiocese of Visakhapatnam.
Born on March 8, 1952, at Peddautapally, Bishop Thelegathoti entered Minor Seminary of St. Ambrose at Nuzvid. As a Montfort novice, he studied philosophy at St. Peter’s Papal Seminary Bangalore, and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Later, he obtained a licentiate in biblical theology from Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India, and a doctorate in spiritual theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. After taking his final vows as member of the Montfort Missionaries on Jan. 31, 1980, he was ordained priest on June 7, 1980. After his ordination he held several posts, including as rector of the Montfort Minor Seminary and in the province as well as in the general house in Rome.