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Vatican establishes new diocese
Oblate Bishop Bejoy Nicephorus D'Cruze of Khulna becomes Sylhet's first prelate
- ucanews.com reporters, Sylhet and Khulna
- July 11, 2011
The Holy Father also appointed Oblate Bishop Bejoy Nicephorus D'Cruze of Khulna as the dioceseâ€™s first bishop.
The new ecclesiastical province has six parishes and 12 out-stations with 17,000 predominantly tribal Catholics, 21 priests and 33 religious.
It covers four civil districts -- Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj and Moulvibazar -- and was carved from Dhaka archdiocese, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan church.
Bishop Dâ€™Cruze said he is ready to undertake his new responsibilities and challenges.
â€śItâ€™s an honor to be appointed the first bishop of a new diocese. Now I have to meet with religious and laypeople to formulate plan of action,â€ť he said.
He said he is already looking for land to build a cathedral and a bishopsâ€™ house.
â€śFor now Iâ€™ll have to live and work in a rented house.â€ť
Religious and laypeople in Sylhet have welcomed the long-awaited new ecclesiastical status for the region.
â€śWeâ€™ve been waiting for this a long time so we are very happy,â€ť said Father Michael Sarker, a priest in Srimangal parish in Moulvibazar district.
â€śNow we need not to travel all the way to Dhaka on Church business,â€ť he added.
There are approximately 400,000 Catholics in Bangladesh out of a total population of over 160 million.