New Auxiliary Bishop of Dhaka: Be witnesses of Christ to win people’s hearts
Today the archdiocese celebrates the installment of Msgr. Shorot Francis Gomes, appointed by Pope Francis in February. The bishop comes from a Catholic family, where the example of their parents' faith led the three children to embark on the journey of consecration. He will offer the local Church his experience with families and the formation of priests.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Helping the Archbishop of Dhaka in pastoral work; offering his lengthy experience with families to resolve conflicts in marriage relationships; supporting the consecrated and vocations, even in a country with a Muslim majority; spreading the Gospel and the teachings of the Church: These are the objectives of Msgr. Shorot Francis Gomes, who was officially installed today as the auxiliary bishop of Dhaka. Speaking to AsiaNews on the sidelines of the ceremony, he said: "If we are witnesses of Christ through how we live, work and are merciful, we will win many hearts in Bangladesh".
Msgr. Shorot, 51, was appointed bishop by Pope Francis in early February. He was born in Hasnabad, in the archdiocese, and his family is well known: His parents attend church every morning for daily Mass and recite the Rosary every night. The example and the faith of their parents have inspired their children: the bishop and his two sisters are all consecrated.
At the inaugural ceremony was attended by about 6 thousand faithful, two archbishops, six bishops and 100 priests. Msgr. Patrick D'Rozario, Archbishop of the diocese, said in his homily: "Almighty God has chosen you as the Bishop of Dhaka. Your task is to preach the gospel and take care of your people. Now you are an authority, but not a ruler of your people. "
Msgr. Shorot has served as vicar general of the diocese of Sylhet and worked for seven years with local families as an ecclesiastical member of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Bangladesh. That experience, he told AsiaNews, "offered me the opportunity to listen to the problems of families, matters relating to marriage and the need for couples to create healthy relationships in order to live a happy life."
The only way to live in peace, he adds, "is to eliminate all misunderstandings that leads to conflict". It is this dynamic that he wishes to implement in relations with the country’s Muslim majority: "The Catholic community represents only 0.4% of the population. We know that we must respect all religions and tribal groups who flock to Bangladesh. We have a great opportunity to spread the Gospel among them".
"We must be – he adds – an example of love for people of different faiths from ours, more so that love of neighbor is on the decline, while evil forces are on the rise".
Msgr. Shorot will also offer the archdiocese his experience as rector of the minor seminary, where he taught "catechesis, prayers and moral values. I helped people to discern a religious vocation, and to fully understand the responsibility and priestly duties".