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Well-known Christian writer and journalist from Bangladesh dies at 75

Jerome D'Costa, a Catholic writer and journalist, passed away in Toronto, Canada, on November 7. (Photo supplied)

Bangladesh's renowned Christian writer and journalist, Jerome D'Costa, died due to respiratory complications in Toronto, Canada, on November 7. 

He has been living in Canada with his family since 1997. He is survived by a wife and three sons. He was 75 years old.

Bangladeshi people mourned the death of D'Costa, who contributed a lot to the church, especially to Christian literature, history, and culture. He was a blogger, writer, translator, journalist, and photographer.

"D’Costa made a great contribution to the Bangladesh Church. He studied journalism and used it in his life and society to emphasize truth, justice, and neutrality," said Father Bulbul A. Rebeiro, secretary of the episcopal commission for social commission and editor of Bangladesh's national Catholic weekly magazine, "Pratibeshi" (Neighbor).

From 1977 to 1981, D’Costa was executive editor of "Pratibeshi." From 1982 to 1983, he served as its editor. He was the only layperson working as an editor.   

On the communication level, D’Costa contributed to modernizing the weekly ‘Pratibeshi’ and making it readable. 

He launched various sections in the magazine and wrote columns and articles on several topics. He taught many how to write effectively and precisely.

He was the former associate director of World Vision in Dhaka.

His book, "Church in Bangladesh," is a landmark and a manual for the history of the Bangladesh Catholic Church. 

The church and society honour his faithfulness, obedience, and acceptance.

"D'Costa was a Christian journalist and a laity icon for me. He is an inspiration to many Christian writers and authors who speak by pen, not mouth," said Father Rebeiro.

"He was a valuable asset to the Bangladesh Church," the priest added.

D’Costa also translated many books into Bengali, among them "the Christian Theology Handbook," "Second Vatican Council Document," "Social Instruction," "Introduction to the New Testament of the Bible," "Charles de Foucault," "Hero of the Desert," "Come to Jesus," and "Power Relations in Rural Development: Bangladesh Relations."

D’Costa hails from Bangladesh but was currently settled in Canada. 

He studied journalism at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (1972), and communications arts at the University of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. (1977).

From 1981–1983, D’Costa was the Bangladesh correspondent for the India-based Catholic news agency South Asian Religious (SAR) News.

He played an important role as secretary of the South Asian Catholic Press Association for eight years, and later he was president of this organization from 1993 to 1995. 

He was born on July 20, 1947, in Rangamatia village, Kaliganj, Gazipur district. His family belonged to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a part of the Bhawal region, a Catholic stronghold covered by the Archdiocese of Dhaka. 

"The members of Caritas Bangladesh express our sincere condolences and pray to God for the salvation of the departed soul. May the Lord accept him into His heavenly abode in eternal bliss," said an official of Caritas Bangladesh. "We express our heartfelt sympathy and prayerful support to the bereaved family members." - Nikhil Gomes


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