07/15/2020, 16.23
BANGLADESH
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Catholics bid farewell to the late Archbishop of Chittagong Moses M Costa

by Sumon Corraya

Large numbers attended his funeral. His work among Catholics increased membership in the local Church. Youth leader remembers that “He called the young salt and light of the world. I still feel this and I personally heard his call and I'm trying to follow his advice in my life.”

Chittagong (AsiaNews) – Catholics in Chittagong have prayed, brought flowers and shed tears for their archbishop, Moses M Costa, who passed away on Monday after a series of strokes.

His funeral was held today in the cathedral where he was buried next to another local bishop, the late Joachim Rozario, CSC. Thousands of people paid the respect as he laid in state.

Some spoke about the 69-year-old bishop who served in two dioceses. Chittagong diocese’s Desk for Migrants and Itinerant People coordinator Probal Deo, spoke to AsiaNews about the late prelate.

“Before 2011, the faithful of our diocese were not very active in the life of the church. After he became bishop, Mgr Moses created 13 districts in the diocese and gave responsibility to the members of the district, thus attracting faithful to the Church.

“Now people actively participate in all church activities and know all about these activities. Membership in the local Church has grown among Catholics.”

Probal Deo, who twice served as secretary of the cathedral's parish council, added that Archbishop Moses had exceptional leadership qualities that allowed him to engage the faithful in the activity of the Church.

"When Archbishop Moses drew up a new work plan, he shared it with us and asked for our cooperation to implement it. We naturally responded and that's how we all worked as a team in the diocese.”

Probal Deo, an ethnic Garo, explained that half of the Catholic community in Chittagong is tribal.

Sister Violet Rodrigues, Provincial of the Holy Cross Sister in Bangladesh, spoke to AsiaNews saying that Archbishop Moses was a good pastor from what she could see. "He was a person with depth of thought and great spirituality."

Hubert Sony Ratna, youth leader in the Diocese of Khulna, said that a homily by Archbishop Moses Costa motivated him to become a good Catholic.

“In 2002, I participated in the national youth day in the Diocese of Chittagong. On that occasion, the archbishop made a homily centred on ‘Salt and light’ from the Bible. He called the young salt and light of the world. I still feel this and I personally heard his call and I'm trying to follow his advice in my life.”

Nirmol Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association, which defends the rights of Christians, said he spoke several times with Archbishop Moses Costa and thought that the he was a forward-looking spiritual leader.

“He was a brave man who worked with people from Dinajpur and Chittagong who live far away to better their life. His death is a great loss for the Catholic Church in Bangladesh.”

Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the Bangladesh Awami League and current Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, issued a press release, expressing his deep condolences for the death of Archbishop Moses Costa.

In it, he said that the prelate was a special person who “worked with people of all faiths. He was respected by people of all faith. We pray for the eternal peace of his soul.”

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