Diocese of Rajshahi

BRIEF HISTORY : On May 21, 1990, the Diocese of Rajshahi was canonically erected Incorporating Within its territory the southern portion of the greater Diocese of Dinajpur. The History of Rajshahi Diocese before its creation is part of the history of Dinajpur Diocese.
The work of evangelisation in the areas now, Rajshahi Diocese, began at the request of Mr. Gabriel Topno, a Munda Tribal, a Christian and a leper, who migrated From Choto Nagpur in India to the village of Begunbari, two miles south of the present Beneedwar parish. It was Fr. Francis Rocca, a Mossionary of the pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions of Milan (PIME), who came from Pakuria in Meherpur District, south of the Mighty Ganges on January 29, 1902 to provide Pastoral assistance to Mr. Topno and his family and subsequently to continue the preaching the Gospel in the area. Within eight years of his arrival there were already Christian Communities among the Mundas in Begunbari, Mahalis in Chokjodu  and Santals in Beneedwar. Crossing the River Ganges, there Came Mal- Paharias to build the Ishurdi - Amnura Railway Tracks. The Christian Missionaries also crossed the river and walked along the railway tracks preaching the Good News of Christ. The first Mal-paharias of Andharkota were baptised in the Catholic faith on February 21, 1904 by Fr. S. Taveggia, PIME.
Thereupon, From the tiny beginnings in Begunbari and Andharkota the Catholic faith has gradually spreaded among the Adivasis throughtout the present Diocese of Rajshahi. Beginning in the year 1925. many Bengali Christians from Bhawal Areas of the Archdioces of Dhaka started migrating to the greater districts of Pabna and Rajshahi in search of land and their economic amelioration.
For their Pastorl care three parishes were gradually established in Bonpara (1940), Mothurapur (1945 ) and Borni ( 1949 ) Mothurapur had belonged to the Archdiocese of Dhaka till 1976. when it was transferred to the Diocese of Dinajpur. With the growth and Extension of the Church in North Bengal, the need was felt to create a new diocese which Comprieses of the southern districts of the diocese of Dinajpur to further the work of Evangelisation. 
The Most Rev. Theotonius Gomes, CSC, The Bishop of Dinajpur initiated the process of erection of the Diocese of Rajshahi which was announced on June 9, 1990, and the most rev. Patrick D' Rozario, CSC was appointed as the first Bishop of the new Diocese. After five years of strenuous work in the Organisation, Msgr. D'Rozario was Transferred to the Seaport Diocese of Chittagong and became its second native Bishop on February 3, 1995. The Very Reverend Fr. Julian Rozario was named Administrator of the Sede Vacante until the Most Rev. Paulinus Costa, D.D. was Named, Consecratd and took Possession of the Diocese on April 26, 1996. 
First Bishop  :  Most Rev. Patrick D'Rozario, CSC, 1990-1995
Second Bishop  :  Most Rev. Paulinus Costa, 1996


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