Consecration of Bishop Sebastian Tudu

Date Published: 30 Jan, 2012

The Church in Bangladesh got the first tribal Santal Bishop for the diocese of Dinajpur. The Consecration Mass was presided over by Archbishop Joseph Marino, Papal Nuncio to Bangladesh held at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Parish premise in Dinajpur. Two Archbishops, six bishops, around hundred and forty priests, hundreds of religious and about eleven thousand Catholics attended the historic event of the local church. The motto of the new Bishop of Dinajpur is “Thy Kingdom Come.” In his homily the Nuncio stressed on two elements of sacred ministry in the Church and in a special way that of the office of Bishop: Chosen and Sent. He reminded that Christ has chosen, selected and marked for the holy office. A chosen minister is sent with specific duties given by Christ which he outlines in the words of Christ, ‘to heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded diseases and drive out demons.’ This holy ministry can be realized only in cooperation with the priests, religious and laity of the entire community of Dinajpur Diocese.

 

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Fr. Sebastian Tudu as Bishop of Dinajpur  on 29 October last year. Bishop Tudu was born 17 June 1967 at Changura village under Mariampur Catholic church of Northwestern Gaibandha district in the Diocese of Dinajpur. He is the son of the late Paskal Tudu and Golapi Hasdak, who is still alive.

Bishop Tudu started his school in his village and moved to Mariampur parish school (1977-1983). He then entered St. Joseph Minor Seminary and attended his high school studies at St. Philip’s High School in Dinajpur (1984-1986), and at Dinajpur Government College (1986-1988). Then he joined Notre Dame College for a Bachelor of Arts Degree course, while residing at St. Joseph’s Intermediate Seminary, Ramna, Dhaka (1988-1990).

From 1991 to 1998, he attended Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka for priestly formation and in 1999 he was a deacon in Kellabari, Dinajpur. He was ordained priest at his home parish of Mariampur in Dinajpur diocese on December 30, 1999.

After ordination, he held the following positions:

1999 - 2002: Assistant Parish priest in Dhanjuri Parish;

2003 - 2007: Pontifical Urbaniana University for a Doctorate in Missiology;

2007 - 2009: Assistant Parish Priest in Ruhea Parish;

2008 - 2010: Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies;

2009- 2011: Vice-Rector of Holy Spirit Major Seminary. 

After the consecration, Bishop Tudu said, \"It\'s day of blessing for me. I thank God for choosing me for this important duty even though I am unworthy. I promise to work for the people in the diocese with love and enthusiasm and hope the faithful will support me in fulfilling the needs of the diocese. In the afternoon a cultural program was held in honor of the newly ordained Bishop. All the Bishops spoke on this auspicious occasion. On January 28, 2012 a civic reception was accorded to Bishop Sebastian Tudu at the Bishop’s House. Bishop Moses, Bishop Subrato, Major Syed Jahangir Golam, Mohammed Jamaluddin Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner of Dinajpur, Maynul Islam, Police Super of Dinajpur, Jashimuddin Ahmed, Divisional Commissioner were among others present. The member of Parliament (Dinjapur – 3 Constituency) Igbalur Rahim called on Bishop Sebatian and spent some time. All spoke highly of Bishop Sebastian and the contribution of the Dinajpur in various sectors of development and expressed their willingness to cooperate with the new Bishop in all possible ways.

The Spanish Carmelite Missionaries first evangelized the territory comprising the diocese of Dinajpur in the 17th century. Since mid 19th century the territory became the part of the mission in Krishnagor (now the Diocese of Krishnagor in West Bengal, India). The PIME Missionaries first came to work in the area in 1855 and have been here ever since.

in 1927, the Diocese of Dinajpur was canonically erected comprising the entire North Bengal. The new diocese was entrusted to the PIME Missionaries, and Bishop Santino Taveggia PIME, until then the Bishop of Krishanagor, beame the first Bishop of Dinajpur. Their main collaborators were the Sisters of Charity (Maria Bambina). In 1952, the Diocesan Congregation of the Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Queen of Angels (CIC) was founded by late Bishop Joseph Obert PIME. The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (PIME) arrived in the diocese in 1953. The former Bishops of the Diocese: Bishop Santino Tabeggia PIME (1927 – 1928), Bishop John Baptist Anselmo PIME (1928 – 1947), Bishop Joseph Obert PIME (1948 – 1968), Bishop Michael Rozario (1968 – 1978), Bishop Theotonius Gomes CSC (1978 – 1996), Bishop Moses M. Costa CSC (1996 – 2011).

Earlier upon arrival in Dinajpur Cathedral from Shingra Retreat Centre on January 26 Bishop Sebastian Tudu was received by the tribal groups according to their cultural traditions.