Church in India mourns the death of Mgr D'Souza, "spiritual son" of Mother Teresa
by Nirmala Carvalho

The bishop led the Archdiocese of Kolkata during the revolution brought about by the soon-to-be-canonised Albanian saint. He himself revolutionised his archdiocese’ educational system, whilst remaining close to his former flock in Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar who went through horrific pogroms.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Church in India is mourning the passing of Mgr Henry Sebastian D'Souza, archbishop emeritus of Kolkata who led the diocese from 1986 to 2002. He on Monday at the Vianney Home in Kolkata at the age of 90. His funeral was held today at St Thomas Church.

During his time in office, he closely helped the mission of Mother Teresa. So much so that on several occasions, he described himself as the “spiritual son” of the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity.

Known for revolutionising the archdiocese’s educational landscape, Mgr D'Souza was always a big supporter of the future Albanian saint whose beatification he supported.

“I am overjoyed that Mother Teresa’s second miracle was approved by the Holy Father,” he once told AsiaNews. “Mother Teresa always told me that she is my mother, and mother continues her maternal protection over me and the entire humanity even now".

On another occasion, he spoke to AsiaNews about her ordinary life and extraordinary love, especially since it began very simply for the poorest of the poor in total abandonment to God’s will.

He was ordained as the first Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, an area that later experienced anti-Christian pogroms.

Speaking about local Catholics, he praised them. " Our Christians died for their Faith, and this disproves all allegations that our people were ‘rice Christians’, meaning that they were coming into the faith for other economic reasons.

“Their fortitude and zeal, and the courage for the faith are an inspirational witness to their love for Jesus Christ and the faith.”