Catholic Church celebrates 100 years since the birth of the Servant of God T A Ganguly,
by Sumon Corraya

The late archbishop of Dhaka was a cultured and affable man. He received a gold chain for his deeds during Bangladesh’s liberation war. Believers venerate him as a saint, and wait for the miracle needed for beatification to happen.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church of Bangladesh celebrated 100 years since the birth of Archbishop Theotonius Amal Ganguly of Dhaka who died in 1977.

He was declared Servant of God in 2006 and is much loved by the Catholic community, which invokes his protection and venerates him as a saint for blessings received.

In a message, Card Patrick D’Rozario, current archbishop of the capital, noted that “Before taking on the responsibility as archbishop of Dhaka archdiocese, I held Archbishop Theotonius Amal Ganguly as my ideal.”

For the prelate, his predecessor was his “ideal in thoughts, behaviour and lifestyle. I always try to evaluate myself by looking at him. I know I could not be as saintly as him, but I am proud of him. For his wisdom, behaviour and service life, he is our pioneering spiritual leader.”

Thousands of people took part in the special Mass marking the 100th birth anniversary of Bangladesh’s first native bishop.

Cultured and affable, T A Ganguly spoke five languages. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country's first prime minister, gave him a gold chain in recognition of his commitment to the liberation of Bangladesh.

“He was a man of pure character,” said Card D’Rozario. “Inside he had love, forgiveness, tolerance and sacrifice. He was kind and led a simple life. Nobody ever saw him angry. He never hurt anyone. As a servant leader, he accepted all kinds of hostile situations.”

The Church has started his canonisation process. To this end, the prelate calls on the faithful “to pray to God for the mercy to prove the miracles. Miracles will help make him a saint.”

Fr Patrick Simon Gomes, who leads the case in the local ecclesiastical court, urges everyone "to collect photos, garments and objects that belonged to the bishop and bring them to us".

Polin Francis, a Catholic who works in family outreach, said that she prayed to the late archbishop on behalf of a couple that could not have children because of physical ailments. “My prayers have been heeded and now that couple has a child. I thank T A Ganguly from the bottom of my heart for his mercy.”

Fr Proshanto Reberio, president of the "Archbishop T A Ganguly Memorial Trust", reports that “no one has yet been healed by praying to the archbishop, but many have solved their problems.”