Barishal Catholic Diocese gets new Bishop


Episcopal Consecration and Ordination Ceremony Held in Festive Mood

Reverend Father Emmanuel Kanan Rozario has been consecrated and ordained as the new Bishop of Barishal Catholic Diocese on Friday (19 August 2022) amid a grand ceremony in the new Catholic territory which was erected as the eighth diocese in Bangladesh after the announcement of His Holiness Pope Francis on December 29, 2015.

Archbishop of Chattogram Catholic Archdiocese, Lawrence Subrata Howlader, CSC, was acting as the Bishop of Barishal Diocese since its inception.

The festive Episcopal Consecration and Ordination ceremony of new Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario was held at the Udayan School premises of the Cathedral Church of Barisal Catholic Diocese in the presence of thousands of Catholic Christians.

During the significant Episcopal Consecration ceremony, blessed oil is poured on Father Emmanuel Kanon Rozario’s head and he is installed as a bishop with a miter on his head and a staff in his hand.

The inauguration ceremony was conducted by the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), Archbishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze, OMI. Meanwhile, former Bishop of Barisal Diocese, currently Archbishop of Chattogram Acrhdiocese, Lawrence Subrata Howlader, CSC, installed the new bishop as his successor.

Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi Diocese shared the message in the holy mass offered by the newly installed Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario.

Nine members of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), 300 priests, around 200 religious brothers and sisters, and around 5,000 lay people of Barishal Catholic Christian community were present at the grand ceremony which ended with a cultural function in Barishal.

Earlier this new position of the Bishop of Barishal Diocese, Most Reverend Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario performed as the Vicar General of Rajshahi Diocese.

Earlier on 21st June 2022, his Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Emmanuel Kanon Rozario, as the new bishop of Barisal Diocese in Bangladesh.

Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario’s Life at a Glance:

The new bishop of Barishal Diocese, Emmanuel Kanan Rozario was born in Deirpara village in Failjana St. Francis Xavier parish on Feb 8, 1963. He is the fifth of six brothers and two sisters in the family.

Priestly Education:
Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario studied theology and philosophy at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka and was ordained a priest on December 28, 1993.

Later, he was sent to Rome in Italy for higher studies and obtained a Licentiate and Doctorate Degree in Biblical Theology from the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana.

Priestly Activities in Rajshahi:
Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario worked as assistant parish priest in the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bonpara; as parish priest in Maria Virgo Potens Catholic Church, Borni; and at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Kolimnagar all in Rajshahi. Soon after, Emmanuel Kanan Rozario became the parish priest of Good Shepherd Cathedral Parish in Baganpara.

Teaching at Major Seminary:
Besides pastoral and spiritual works within parishes in Rajshahi Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario was also involved in teaching Sacred Scripture at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary, Dhaka, since 2004.

Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario worked as a formator in the Holy Spirit Major Seminary for 11 years, five years as Dean of Studies, and as vice-rector and rector.

Special Training:
Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario attended a two-year Spiritual Directors Training, Dhaka; Formation of Major Seminary Formators’ training in Leggiuno, Varese, Italy; Advanced Leadership Training in Haggai Institute, Hawai, USA; and Training of Translators, intensive Latin Language Course, Rome, Italy.

Other Responsibilities:
Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rozario has been working as a member of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences – Office of Theological Concerns (FABC-OTC), and as an executive secretary of the FABC Office of Laity and Family (FABC-OLF).

Barishal Diocese at a Glance:
His Holiness Pope Francis erected the new Catholic Diocese of Barisal on Dec. 29, 2015, and it is the eighth dioceses in Bangladesh.

Before the erection of the Barisal Diocese, the district of Gopalganj (a portion) was under the Dhaka Division along with the Chittagong and Khulna Dioceses. But now Gopalganj district is fully included under Barisal Diocese territory.

The territory of Barisal Diocese is 20,708 square kilometers under two–Barisal and Dhaka with 11 Civil Districts of Bangladesh.

It covers nine civil districts (Barisal, Bhola, Jhalokathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Madaripur, Shariatpur and a portion of Gopalganj) from the territory of Chittagong Diocese, two civil districts (Faridpur and Rajbari) from Khulna Diocese.

The diocese has six parishes and two quasi-parishes with a total Catholic population of 18,598. It has 13 diocesan priests, five Holy Cross priests, five Holy Cross brothers, and more than 50 nuns from different religious congregations.

—Written by Roton Malo, Freelance Journalist and Development Worker. **The information about Bishop Emmanuel Kanan Rosario’s life and Barishal Diocese was retrieved from an article published by Radio Veritas Asia (RVA).