IGISAAC GOMES reports  from Kolkata

30th June 10 am St Thomas Parish, Middleton Row, Kolkata was the venue for the funeral mass of Archbishop Emeritus Henry Sebastian D'Souza. Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo led the Eucharist concelebrated by 14 prelates. As the church was packed to capacity, many devotees who thronged St Thomas Church were accommodated in the Loreto House AC hall, where a video screen was put up to catch up with the proceedings.

Fr Dominic Gomes, Vicar General of Calcutta Archdiocese speaks on Archbishop Henry D'Souza

Fr Dominic Gomes, Vicar General of Calcutta Archdiocese speaks on Archbishop Henry D'Souza

Fr. Dominic Gomes, Vicar General, read out the life sketch of Archbishop Emeritus Henry D’Souza, in particular the milestones during his long years of pastoral service as Bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and then as Archbishop of Calcutta.

Archbishop Thomas D’Souza in his homily read out a message from His Holiness Pope Francis who expressed his condolence for the demise of Archbishop Emeritus Henry D’Souza. He said: “And let us pray for those in the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.”  In his message His Holiness joined the faithful gathered in giving thanks to God for the years of pastoral service which Archbishop Henry D’Souza gave to the church in Calcutta and prayed for the repose of his soul. To all present he imparted his cordial blessing as a pledge of consolation and hope in the Risen Lord.  The Archbishop’s tone was one of thanksgiving and continuing the good work of the late prelate.

Bishop Monis Cyprian of Asansol Diocese expressed profound gratitude to his mentor Henry for all his success. He narrated how Calcutta Archdiocese was bifurcated and Asansol Diocese carved out, with him being installed Bishop on 12th March 1998.

Several speakers including the late Archbishop’s brother & niece and Derek O’Brien Rajya Sabha MP shared their fond memories on the late Archbishop.

Nuns from Missionaries of Charity sing

Nuns from Missionaries of Charity sing

The sedate choir of the Missionaries of Charity sisters caught everyone's attention – it was simply sublime. The Bengali choir too put up a stellar performance in keeping with the sombre ambience. 

Among the 14 prelates, including Archbishops Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur and John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Monsignor Joseph Chinnayyan Deputy Secretary General of CBCI, and scores of priests and nuns who bid farewell to the founder and former President of Conference of DSCN4666Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), was Mother Teresa’s Spiritual Adviser Fr Rosario Stroscio (Auxilium Parish) who on 18th May celebrated his 95th birthday. 


Fr Rodney Borneo of the Young Brigade conducted the proceedings admirably.





A Brief Sketch of Archbishop Emeritus Henry D’Souza’s pastoral life:

20 Jan 1926



Igatpuri (Nashik)

24 Aug 1948


Ordained Priest


24 Jan 1974



Bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, India

5 May 1974


Ordained Bishop

Bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, India

29 Mar 1985



Coadjutor Archbishop of Calcutta, India

5 Apr 1986



Archbishop of Calcutta, India

2 Apr 2002



Archbishop of Calcutta, India

27 Jun 2016



Archbishop Emeritus of Calcutta, India



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