Rt. Rev. Dr. PETER BERNARD PEREIRA (1917-1978)
(Second Bishop & First Indian Bishop of Trivandrum) (1966-1978)
Rt.Rev.Dr. Peter Bernard Pereira, was born on 21st June 1917 in an ancient and noble catholic family (Kottarkari) in Murukkunpuzha in the northern part of the Trivandrum District.
He was ordained as a priest on 24th March 1944, he was first attached as an Assistant to the parish priest, Scared Heart Church, Chullimanoor- as mission area in the Nedumangad taluk. Later on, he became the parish priest there, and continued as such till 5th May 1945, when he was elevated as Titular Bishop of Ursi and Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum from. He was Co-adjutor cum jure successions of Trivandrum from July 4th 1961. On October 24,1966, when the then Bishop Rt. Rev, Vincent D Dereire, OCD, resigned from the see of Trivandrum, the Diocese of Trivandrum passed on into the hands of Bishop Peter Bernard Pereira, who has had the unique privilege of being the first Indian Bishop to guide the destinies of the Trivandrum diocese. He continued as such for nearly twelve years, until his sad demise on 13th June 1978 after a short spell of illness.
During the time of Bishop Pereira, the Trivandrum dioceses has had the benefit of acquiring financial stability besides immense progress in the pastoral and mission field. When Bishop Pereira took charge the Trivandrum diocese was lacking in adequate finance took charge the Trivandrum diocese was lacking in adequate finance, even for its day today activities. His foreign tours in 1957 and 1961 mainly to collect donations for augmenting the slender resources of the diocese were fruitful as it eased a great deal the financial stringency of the diocese. The acquiring of a number of additional landed properties for the diocese was entirely due to the meritorious and selfless work of the late Bishop in this respect.
One of the remarkable events that occurred during the stewardship of the late Bishop was the fearless and active leadership he gave for the successful termination of the “Vimochana Samaram” which occured in 1959 and which has had tremendous and far reaching effect on the educational and political spheres in the state. His staunch leadership in this respect in this part of the state was one of the contributory factors for the successful culmination of that historical event.
The Trivandrum dioceses is a missionary diocese, and as such, he concentrated his pastoral efforts mainly in the mission areas which are distributed in Nedumanged/Neyyattinkara Taluks. The 120 mission and old churches he constructed will be a standing movement for his tireless and dedicated services, for bringing many souls into the fold on the Universal Church.
In the social field, he achieved a lot for the uplift of the poor and down- trodden. The Trivandrun Social Society started by his was a new field of enterprise at that time in this respect. It was the late Bishop who initiated and implemented the Marianad Project. At Pallithura when hundreds of poor traditional fishermen were evicted to give way for ISRO establishments, Bishop Pereira constructed 220 pucca houses for the victims of eviction in the 18 acres of land, which the late Bishop bought earlier.
The late Bishop served the Trivandrum dioceses with a selfless dedicated spirit. He was born leader, and able administrator, and above all a disciplinarian.