Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Archbishop Emeritus Paulinus Costa of Dhaka Is No More


Archbishop Paulinus Costa

Archbishop Emeritus Paulinus Costa of the Archdiocese of Dhaka, Bangladesh, died of heart attack on January 3, reports the Vatican Radio. He was 78 and a diabetic with long-time complications. 

He was the archbishop of Dhaka after being transferred from the Diocese of Rajshahi on July 9, 2005 after the retirement of Archbishop Michael Rozario. After serving for six years as the archbishop of Dhaka, he retired on October 22, 2011. He was spending his retiring days at Holy Rosary Parish at Tejgaon, Dhaka.

Born at Choto Shatanipara village under Rangamatia Parish in Gazipur District on October 19, 1936, he studied at the Little Flower Preparatory Seminary and Holy Cross High School at Bandura, then in Dhaka District. He then studied at St. Joseph Intermediate Seminary at the Archbishop’s House at Ramna, and Notre Dame College, both in Dhaka. In 1957, he was sent to the Propaganda Fide College in Rome for studies in philosophy and theology and was ordained a diocesan priest on December 21, 1963. 

After his return from Rome, he worked in several parishes including Jalchatra in the thenTangail District and Srimongal in the then Sylhet District. In 1973, he became the founding-rector of the National Major Seminary, Bangladesh’s first major seminary, in Dhaka. He served there until he became the bishop of the Diocese of Rajshahi in 1996. 

Archbishop Paulinus was committed to peaceful coexistence among various religious communities and he was given Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award in 2007 for his work in this field. In 2010, the Human Rights Legal Aid Society gave him recognition for his human rights work in Bangladesh. He also gave a long-time service to Caritas Bangladesh in different capacities. 

He will be buried tomorrow, January 7, in the compound of the Archbishop's House at Ramna, Dhaka, where former archbishops Theotonius Amal Ganguly, CSC, and Michael Rozario are also buried. 

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