Manik Willver D’Costa- Editor, CANS
Rev. Philip D’Rozario, a diocesan priest from Padrishibpur Parish under Barisal diocese breathed his last on 10th May 2018 at 10.00 pm at the age of 82. RIP. He was bed ridden at the Barisal bishop’s house for last couple of months for some elderly complications. A stroke caused his death yesterday.
Father Philip D’Rozario was the senior most diocesan priest in Bangladesh. He was born in 20th December 1935 at Araibaki, Padrishibpur. He was the third child among four siblings. His parents are Late German D’Rozario and Late Priscilla D’Rozario. Father Philip is baptized on 20th January 1936.
Father Philip completed his primary and secondary school education from St. Alfred’s School, Padrishibpur respectively in 1949 and 1955. He received his higher secondary degree in 1957 and graduation in 1960 from Notre Dame College, Dhaka.
Father Philip entered into the minor seminary in 1949 in Holy Rosary Minor Seminary (then St. Joseph’s Apostolic Boarding), Padrishibpur. On completion of the secondary education he joined St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dhaka in1956. In 1960 he joined in Propaganda Fide University, Rome to study Philosophy and Theology. From there he received a licentiate degree in 1967.
Rev. Father Philip D’Rozario is ordained as Priest on 16th December 1966 in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome by His Emindence Cardinal Agagianian. Recently on 16 December 2016 he celebrated the golden jubilee of priestly ordination in Rome and met His Holiness Pope Francis on the occasion.
During his life time Father Philip attended several trainings and courses, e.g. catechetical training in 1973 in Bengalore, India, training on pastoral theology in 1977-1978, sociology and a renewal course in 1978 in the Philippines.
Father Philip served as an assistant pastor in Fatima Rani Parish under Chittagong Archdiocese from 1968 to 1971 and later as the pastor from 1981 to 1988. He had enormous effort and contribution in Chittagong hill tracts area in regards to evangelization, social and organizational development and community building. He is still remembered with respect in Chittagong hill tracts. He also served in St. Teresa’s Parish, Narikelbari as an assistant pastor from 1971-1972. In 1972 he is transferred to Sacred Heart Parish, Gournadi with the capacity as pastor and continued till 1981. He has served as the Director of diocesan pastoral service team and pastoral & retreat centre (Oriental Institute) in Sagardi, Barisal for the period of 1989-1990. He is appointed pastor of St. Peter’s Parish, Barisal (presently Cathedral of Barisal diocese) in 1991 and continued till 1995. In 1995 he took charge as the Rector of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Chittagong and continued till 2010.
While Fr. Philip joined in Chittagong Cathedral in 1995, he is also made the Vicar General of Chittagong diocese and continued till the erection of Barisal diocese in 2015. From 2010 he took residence at the bishop’s residence, Barisal along with the auxiliary bishop of Chittagong to prepare the ground of Barisal vineyard to be erected as a new diocese. When Barisal is erected as a new diocese on 29th December 2015, Father Philip decided to stay in his native area of Barisal diocese. Since then he was having a retired life engaged with charitable activities especially with ‘Protibondhi Ashroy Kendra’ a shelter for physically challenged persons who are abandoned from family. The shelter was established and maintained by personal effort of Fr. Philip. Later in 2017, when Father Philip lost his mental stability and became bed ridden, the project is taken over by the diocese of Barisal.
During his service, Father Philip D’Rozario was very much active in various fields. In Chittagong diocese he served as the diocesan vocation promoter, chairman of SEBOKALOY (then minor seminary), diocesan land affairs committee, diocesan college of consultors and finance council member and director of regional finance office in Barisal. He also served as the diocesan representative to episcopal seminary commission, BCR and Christian unity and inter religious dialogue. He served as managing committee chairman of several schools. Father Philip D’Rozario is the founder chairman of BDPF (Bangladesh Diocesan Priests’ Fraternity) and served for continuous six years. He also served as the chairman of AUC (National Apostolic Union of Christ).
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Chittagong mourns for the death of Father Philip D’Rozario. We all praise to the lord for the beautiful gift Father Philip and his exemplary life. His departure is a loss for the Church in Bangladesh and Barisal diocese. May God grants eternal peace to Father Philip D’Rozario.
A memorial mass took place in the St. Peter’s Cathedral Barisal today at 11.30 am. At 4.00 pm his dead body will be taken to his birth place Padrishibpur. At 6.00 pm today another mass will take place in Our Lady of Guidance Church, Padrishipur in memory of Father Philip. The funeral mass is scheduled on tomorrow 12th May 2018 at 11.00 am at the same church. With final rite the legend will be buried at the Padrishipur parish grave yard.