Raiganj: Bishop Alphonsus Flavian D’Souza SJ of Raiganj diocese died this afternoon, April 30, 2016 at around 12.35 pm due to massive heart attack at the Presbytery of the Cathedral in Raiganj. He was 77 years old.
Bishop Alphonsus was born on July 4, 1939, in Kattingere (Moodubelle), Udupi District in Karnataka. He was the son of a school teacher (Monnu Master) and had 12 other siblings.. He was ordained a priest on July 13, 1971, and was appointed Bishop of Raiganj on January 26, 1987. His episcopal ordination was on April 17, 1987 and was installed as bishop of Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur in West Bengal.
Fr Alphonsus served as Calcutta Jesuit provincial superior before his Episcopal installation.
The Diocese of Raiganj was erected by Pope Paul VI by the Apostolic Bull “Ut Petrus et Pastor” dated June 8, 1978. The diocese was formed by detaching from the Diocese of Dumka, the district of West Dinajpur and Malda. The West Dinajpur district has been further subdivided into two Districts: North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur. The diocese lies completely in the State of West Bengal.
In 1952 a part of West Dinajpur and Malda were cut off from the Diocese of Dinajpur (now in Bangladesh) and the Prefecture of Malda was erected under the care of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign missionaries of Milan (PIME). But in 1962, when the Diocese of Dumka was erected, the Prefecture of Malda was suppressed and the area was fused with Dumka diocese. Now the area of the former Malda Prefecture plus the Islampur subdivision of former West Dinajpur has become the Diocese of Raiganj. END