Bishop da Cunha discusses being named head of Fall River Diocese

By John DeLuca 

It’s a new beginning Wednesday for the Diocese of Fall River. Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha becomes the cities 8th bishop.

“Honestly a little uncomfortable. I’d rather be on the sideline just doing the work without the spotlight.”

Bishop da Cunha was appointed by Pope Francis in July.

The 61-year-old comes to southeastern mass from the Diocese of Newark in New Jersey where he served for 36 years.

“I never thought of it,” says da Cunha about becoming a bishop, “never presented myself to be a Bishop, I never placed myself in a position, cause all I wanted was to be a priest and to do God’s work.”

Bishop Da Cunha believes the best way to do God’s work is being out with people not a distant leader but one of the people much like Pope Francis.

In fact people who know the Bishop compare him in spirit, philosophy and temperament to the Pope.

“I feel honored that they are comparing me to Pope Francis. I think I am far from being like Pope Francis, I wish I could be more like Pope Francis because I think he’s doing tremendous work for the Church and he’s putting the Church in a very positive light.”

Bishop Da Cunha is fluent in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and he’s going to need to use all of them.

The Fall River diocese is made up of Bristol County, the Cape, the Islands and parts of Plymouth County. Even Captain Obvious knows that is a really diverse group of 300,000 parishioners.

“I know it makes a world of difference when you can celebrate a Mass or say a prayer of give a blessing in their own language people feel, feel connected.”

The Bishop’s sisters have made their way to Fall River from Brazil to proudly support, celebrate and pray for their brother.

The Bishop also asks people to pray for him and his new leadership position.

“I’d like them to pray that I may be a good Bishop, a good servant, a good shepherd doing God’s work here in the Diocese of Fall River.”