Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ranchi (India), was born on 15 October 1939 in Chainpur, India. He was ordained a priest on 3 May 1969. Cardinal Toppo studied at the Regional Major Seminary of St Albert's College in Ranchi. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from St Xavier's College, Ranchi, and a master of arts degree in history from Ranchi University, Ranchi. After his studies in theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana College in Rome, he was nominated Bishop of Dumka on 8 June 1978 and ordained 7 October 1978.
He served first as assistant teacher and then Headmaster at the St Joseph's High School, Torpa, and later founded and also directed the"Lievens' Vocational Centre, Torpa".
He was appointed Archbishop Coadjutor of Ranchi on 8 November 1984 and succeeded to the See of Ranchi on 7 August 1985, being installed on 25 August.
Cardinal Toppo has served as President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) from 2004 to 2008. From 2002 to 2005 and from 2011 to 2013, he has served as President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).
In 2002 he received the Jharkhand Ratan Award for distinguished social work done in Jharkhand.
President Delegate of the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church (October 2005).
He was a Member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of S. Cuore di Gesù agonizzante a Vitinia (Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony in Vitinia).