New Bishop of Funchal Dedicates Episcopacy to Nossa Senhora do Monte and Blessed Karl

Photos by Duarte Gomes

On Sunday, February 17, 2019, Nuno Brás da Silva Martins officially took Possession of the Cathedral in Funchal, Madeira, as 33rd Diocesan Bishop. In his first homily, he appealed to the "holiness" of priests and called for a Church that "dares to be" and not just "appears to be.” He asked his Diocesan Curia to give testimony to the Risen Christ and ensured the faithful of his "sincere collaboration with all entities of the Madeiran society, with respect for each one of them."

The installation celebrations continued Monday, February 18, when Bishop Martins celebrated Mass at Nossa Senhora do Monte. Upon his arrival at Monte, he was received by a group of children from Colégio do Infante and formally welcomed by Fr. Vitor Sousa, parish priest of Monte. Bishop Martins thanked Fr. Vitor for his words and all present for the joyous celebration. During the Mass, Bishop Martins recalled the Entrance Antiphon, which said "Mother of the Church pray for us." The Bishop noted how this summed up "the meaning of this celebration," because “being bishop of Funchal is greater than any human being can be" and "I am truly aware that I can do so only with the Grace of God and the intercession of Our Lady." He went on to say that this is why I want to "consecrate my entire ministry, as Bishop of Funchal, to the hands of Our Lady of the Mount, who is the patroness of our diocese, who always intercedes for us." At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Martins venerated and kissed the tomb of Blessed Karl of Austria, under whose patronage he entrusted his episcopacy.

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Bishop Nuno Brás da Silva Martins

Nuno Brás da Silva Martins was ordained to the Priesthood on July 4, 1987, by António II, Patriarch of Lisbon. Before his appointment as Bishop of Funchal, Bishop Martins served as professor and later rector of Portugal’s Olivais Major Seminary of Christ the King from 1993 through 2002. While in Lisbon, he also worked in the Patriarchate administration as a member of the Pastoral Council of the diocese of Lisbon and Canon of the Metropolitan Chapter of the Patriarchal See.

Between 2002 and 2006 Bishop Martins served as Rector of Rome’s Pontifical Portuguese College. On November 20, 2011, Martins was ordained to the Episcopacy by José IV, Patriarch of Lisbon, and appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Titular Bishop of Elvas and Auxiliary Bishop of the Patriarchate of Lisbon. Bishop Martins served in the Portuguese Conference of Bishops as member of the sectorial commissions for Culture, Cultural Goods, and Social Communications of the Catholic Church in Portugal and for Christian Education and the Doctrine of Faith.

In 2016, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Martins a member of the Holy See’s Secretariat for Communication, a position that would lead him to become coordinator of the Social Communications of the Commission for Evangelization and Culture in the Bishops' Conferences of Europe in 2018.

On January 12, 2019, Pope Francis appointed Nuno Brás da Silva Martins as Bishop of Funchal.

Karl Austria