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.
Bishop of Rajshahi and Chittagong, before becoming archbishop of the
He is also the current president of the Bishops' Conference of