Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II on 19 February 2005, accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the diocese of Khulna (Bangladesh), presented by Bishop Michael Atul D’Rozario, C.S.C., in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, canon 401 § 1. The Holy Father appointed Bishop of Khulna (Bangladesh) Reverend Bejoy Nicephorus D’Cruze, O.M.I., Superior of the O.M.I. Delegation for Bangladesh and Professor at Dhaka Major Seminary.
The Bishop elect was born on 9 February 1956 at Tuital, archdiocese of Dhaka. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology at Dhaka major seminary, on 1 November 1986 he took his perpetual vows as a member of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate O.M.I. On 20 February 1987 he was ordained a priest and has since ministered as follows: 1987-1990: assistant priest for parishes of Lokhipur and Mugaipar, archdiocese of Dhaka; 1990-1992: Licentiate in Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome; 1993-1996: Rector of the Oblate Juniorate in Dhaka; 1996-1999: degree in Theology at the Gregorian; 1999-2000: Rector of Oblate Juniorate, Dhaka. Since 1999: Professor at Dhaka major seminary. Since 2001: Superior of the Oblate Scholasticate in Dhaka, Superior of the OMI Delegation in Bangladesh. He is also a member of Caritas Bangladesh Committee.
The diocese of Khulna was created on 3 January 1952, with the name of Jessore. Since 1956 the Bishop has his see at Khulna. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Dhaka. It has an area of 28,236 sq. km, a population of 15 million (mostly Muslims with a consistent Hindu minority), 28, 665, gathered in 11 parishes, 2 sub parishes, 70 mission stations, assisted by 38 priests (18 diocesan and 20 Xaverian missionaries). The diocese also foreign priest incardinated in the diocese offers pastoral care to nomads, 4 Brothers of Charity, 105 women religious of 10 different communities, a group of Pope John XXIII Community engaged in pastoral work, social assistance education and evangelisation. There are 54 full time catechists and 41 seminarians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2005; Righe 25; Parole 323)