By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi, April 17, 2019: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes of Krishnagar in West Bengal state.
The Pope has appointed Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta as the apostolic administrator of the diocese until the appointment of new prelate, according to an April 17 press release from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India,
Bishop Gomes, a Salesian, became the seventh bishop of Krishnagar on May 31, 2002.
He was born on February 14, 1944, and joined the Salesian congregation in 1958. He was ordained a priest on December 21, 1974, at Ranaghat parish.
Before becoming the bishop, he was rector of Don Bosco High school, and then assistant in a parish of Calcutta archdiocese for two years.
The CBCI note thanked Bishop Gomes for his “dedicated services to the Church in Krishnagar and the Church in India.”
Krishnagar diocese is located In the central region of West Bengal state and covers civil district of Nadia and Murshidabad. Spread over a land area of 8,640 square kilometers, the diocesan territory has cities such as Berhampur, Kalyani and Krishnagar.
Bengali and Santhali are the languages spoken in the diocese.
Augustinians and the Jesuits were the first Catholic missionaries to arrive in this region in the 17th century. They established a center at Berhampur in 1620. The first Catholic community was formed at Krishnagar by Portuguese Carmelite Father Thomas Zubiburu, who had come there in 1845 from Chittagong.
After Father Zibuburu left the place due to illness, the Milan Fathers (PIME) worked there from 1855. Krishnagar was erected into a Prefecture Apostolic on July 19, 1870, with Father Antony Marietti its first Prefect Apostolic. It became a diocese on September 1, 1886, with Father Frances Pozzi as its first bishop.
When Dinajpur diocese was bifurcated in 1928, the PIME fathers preferred to work in the new diocese, handing Krishnagar diocese to the Salesians.