Bangladesh Catholics give thanks to God for their first Cardinal (Photo)
by Sumon Corraya

Card. Patrick D'Rozario received his red hat on 19 November. In his archdiocese of Dhaka he was greeted by 5 thousand faithful. To honor him, five bishops arrived from India. In Bangladesh there are about 600 thousand Catholics.


Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Bangladesh thanked God for their first Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, who received his red hat last Nov. 19 at the Vatican.  He was joyfully welcomed home by 5 thousand faithful, who organized festivities, dances and prayers in his honor.

One of them is Sujit Gomes told AsiaNews: "To me it was a different day from the others. I saw for the first time an original Cardinal of Bangladesh, where there is a small minority of Catholics. In all about 600 thousand, and I believe that God has blessed our Catholic Church in abundant way. I thank God from the bottom of my heart. "

The festivities to welcome the new cardinal took place on December 9 in the Cathedral of St. Mary in Dhaka. There were many Christian associations to pay homage, four Indian bishops including Msgr. Thomas D'Souza, Archbishop of Calcutta, nine Bangladeshi Bishops and Archbishop George Kocherry, apostolic nuncio in the country. On behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Gowher Rizvi, his advisor for international affairs, was present.

Card. D'Rozario said: "The Vatican has honored Bangladesh electing its first cardinal. We are happy and full of joy because the Creator has blessed our country. " Speaking of his appointment, he stressed that this is not a "personal success, but for the entire nation."

In his homily Msgr. D'Souza added: "Card. Patrick is a source of pride for all the Bengali people. Now he is a spiritual leader for the whole world. We are really proud of him. I hope he can be a symbol of peace for the country. "

The cardinal was born October 1, 1943 in the village of Padrishibpur in Barisal district, into a deeply Catholic family. There is no doubt of his contribution to the local Church: he worked in parishes, taught moral theology at the major seminary of the Holy Spirit in Dhaka. He was Bishop of Rajshahi and Chittagong, before becoming archbishop of the capital. He is also the current president of the Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh.