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Pope names new bishop for Barisal diocese in Bangladesh

Father Emmanuel K. Rozario, new bishop for Barisal diocese in Bangladesh. (Photo: Father Bablu Corraya)

Pope Francis appointed Father Emmanuel Kanon Rozario, currently the vicar general of Rajshahi diocese, as the new bishop of Barisal Diocese in Bangladesh on June 21.

The appointment news was announced at 4.00 in the afternoon (local time) on Tuesday.

“Our congratulations and promise of prayers on the occasion of this new appointment,” said Bishop Gervas Rozario of the Rajshahi diocese.

“I express my gratitude and love to God who chose me as a servant of the diocese of Barisal. I receive this Holy ministry depending on God. I ask your prayer and blessing,” the bishop-elect Father Rozario said to RVA News.

He was born on Feb 8, 1963, in the village of Deirpara in Failjana under the St. Francis Xavier parish. He is the fifth of six brothers and two sisters.

He studied philosophy and theology at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka and was ordained a priest on Dec. 28, 1993. 

He was sent to Rome for higher studies and obtained a Licentiate and Doctorate Degree in Biblical Theology from the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana.

He worked as assistant parish priest in the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bonpara; as parish priest in Maria Virgo Potens Catholic Church, Borni; and at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Kolimnagar. After that, he was the parish priest of Good Shepherd Cathedral Parish in Baganpara.

He has been teaching Sacred Scripture at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary, Dhaka, since 2004.

He worked as a formator in the Holy Spirit Major Seminary for 11 years, five years as Dean of Studies, and as vice-rector and rector.

He attended a two-year Spiritual Directors Training, Dhaka; Formation of Major Seminary Formators’ training in Leggiuno, Varese, Italy; Advanced Leadership Training in Haggai Institute, Hawai, USA; and Training of Translators, intensive Latin Language Course, Rome, Italy. 

He has been working as a member of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences - Office of Theological Concerns (FABC-OTC), and as an executive secretary of the FABC Office of Laity and Family (FABC-OLF). 

Pope Francis erected the new Catholic Diocese of Barisal on Dec. 29, 2015, and it is the eighth dioceses in the country. 

Before the erection of the Barisal Diocese, the district of Gopalganj (a portion) was under the Dhaka Division along with the Chittagong and Khulna Dioceses. But now the district Gopalganj is fully included under Barisal Diocese territory.

The territory of Barisal Diocese is 20,708 square kilometers under two–Barisal and Dhaka with 11 Civil Districts of Bangladesh. 

It covers nine civil districts (Barisal, Bhola, Jhalokathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Madaripur, Shariatpur and a portion of Gopalganj) from the territory of Chittagong Diocese, two civil districts (Faridpur and Rajbari) from Khulna Diocese.

The diocese has six parishes and two quasi-parishes with a total Catholic population of 18,598. It has 13 diocesan priests, five Holy Cross priests, five Holy Cross brothers, and more than 50 nuns from different religious congregations. - Nikhil Gomes and Ripon Tolentino/Bengali Service 


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