Mission of the Carmelite and Jesuits
The first Vicariate Apostolic of Bengal with its headquarter at Calcutta was established in 1834 with Msgr. Patrick Carew as the Vicar Apostolic. In 1840, the first missionary, Fr. Zubiburu, a Spanish Carmelite went to Koikhali, a small village along with Mr. Crow, the District Magistrate. He built a catholic community of 278 members. However, Fr. Zubiburu, could not continue his work owing to bad health and left the place.
The Belgian Jesuits came to Bengal in 1859. In 1868 at the invitation of Kala Chand (Stanislas), Fr. Goffinet S.J. went to a small village called Gokurni near Magra Hat. A few days later in July 1868, he baptized a little girl of six in Magra Hat which was the happy passage for the Christian community in 24 Parganas. From there Fr. Goffinet SJ went to Koikhali and resumed the missionary work started by Fr. Zubiburu, Under Msgr. Steins SJ. It was Father E. Delplace SJ the pioneer, who went around establishing five Mission Stations in four years such as Raghabpur, Morapai, Basanti,Khari and Baidyapur (1873-1877). In 1886 the Vicariate Apostolic became the Archdiocese of Calcutta.
The Yugoslav Jesuit Priests were invited to come to Bengal and to take charge of 24 Parganas District. That move marked the new beginning of the Sunderbans' Mission. They started new mission stations or re-opened old ones; they built churches and chapels and gradually injected new life in the existing Catholic communities. After the war, unfortunately, the doors were closed and no new missionaries could come in. Later the Belgian Jesuits and Indian priests took over the missions. The tenure of Archbishop V. Dyer (1960-1962) and Archbishop A. D'Souza (1962-1969) witnessed further bifurcations of the Archdiocese of Calcutta into the dioceses of Jamshedpur, Darjeeling and Dumka.
KAIKHALI CHAPEL 1868
Creation of the Diocese
By the Bull, Ad Supernam, Pope Paul VI created on 12 March 1978 the diocese of Baruipur, detaching from the Archdiocese of Calcutta the Southern and Central Portion of the civil district commonly known as the 24 Parganas and the civil territories called Thana. The boundaries of the diocese thus constituted is: to the East, Bangladesh; to the South, the Bay of Bengal; to the West, the river Hooghly and to the North, the limits of the following territories, commonly known as ‘Thana”, namely, Mahestala, Bishnupur, Bhangar, Haroa, Minakhan and Hansabad.
To provide more fittingly for the care of the souls, two other territories are joined to the new diocese viz. the southern part of Behela ‘thana’ of which the northern limit is Biren Roy Road anfd from the Tollygunj ‘thana’ a small piece of territory called ‘mouza’ Purbaputiary. The diocese of Baruipur is the suffragan of the Metropolitan See of Calcutta with its seat in the town of Baripur, where also is placed the Episcopal Cathedral.
Steady Growth of the Diocese since its Inception
Bishop Linus Nirmal Gomes was ordained as first Bishop of Baruipur Diocese on November 19, 1977. There were lots of developments in the diocese during his reign. To record few of them: three new parishes and 11 new institutions like Palli unnayan Samiti, convents, schools, Juniorate, postulants etc. Rt. Rev. Linus Nirmal Gomes SJ submitted his resignation to the Holy Father due to ill health after leading the diocese as the good shepherd for 18 years. Holy Father accepted his resignation with effect from October 31, 1995
Thereafter, Rev. Fr. Salvadore Lobo was elected the Administrator of the Diocese. He was later appointed the Bishop of Baruipur by the Holy See on November 14, 1997 and was ordained a Bishop on January 29, 1998. Under the leadership of Bishop Salvadore Lobo as a good shepherd, the diocese has strived to much greater heights and achievements. Past twenty years of his service has witnessed many milestones in the diocese. To mention few of them: 11 new parishes, 8 new convents, 7 new schools and 5 new institutions of different kinds have been established.
BARUIPUR DIOCESE GETS A NEW COADJUTOR BISHOP
As requested by Most Rev. Salvadore Lobo, the bishop of Baruipur to have the assistance for the moderation of diocesan life, so that the people of God may expect richer and multiple fruit of the divine dispensation, His Holiness, Pope Francis made an announced of the appointment of Rev. Fr. Shyamal Bose as the Coadjutor Bishop of Baruipur Diocese on May 17, 2019.
Monday, June 24, 2019 will be forever etched in the annals of the Baruipur Diocese as a truly historic day. On this day, along with the celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist, the faithful of Baruipur were privileged to welcome the birth of a new shepherd of the flock. In the presence of both, the first Shepherd Bishop Linus Nirmal Gomes s.j. and his successor, the present Bishop Salvadore Lobo as co-Consecrators, Rev. Fr. Shyamal Bose, an authentic son of the soil, was ordained Coadjutor Bishop of Baruipur by His Grace, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta.
The new Coadjutor Bishop, Shyamal Bose was born of Mr. Martin Bose and late Gita Bose on March 24, 1961, in Gosaba. His father Mr. Martin Bose, now frail and weak, was, in his heyday, one of the finest catechists of the Diocese. He is the fourth child of seven children. He joined St. John Mary Vianney's Minor Seminary, Barasat in 1981 and studied philosophy at Morning Star Regional Seminary, Barrackpore and theology at St. Albert's College, Ranchi. He was ordained priest for Baruipur diocese on May 5, 1991. As a priest of Baruipur, he served the Diocese at various capacities such as assistant parish priest, Keorapukur (1991-1994); Khari (1994-1996) and Parish Priest, Khari (1996-1998). He was the director of Palli Unnayan Samiti, the Diocesan Social Service Centre for eight years from 1998 -2006. He was the vicar general of the diocese during 2000-2008. He was parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, Thakurpukur from 2006-2008. He obtained Licentiate in Biblical Theology from St. Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore in 2010. He was appointed director of the Regional Social Centre, Association of Bengal Collaborators for Development in 2011. He was then Parish priest of Kumrokhali parish from 2012-2016. At the time of his appointment announced on May 17, 2019 as the Coadjutor Bishop of Baruipur he was diocese's financial administrator, chancellor and Secretary of finance Committee.
The ordination ceremony was meticulously planned and spiritually elevating. All the Regional Bishops, along with a few of their brother bishops from Orissa and representatives of the Nuncio and Holy See graced the occasion. Nearly two hundred priests from all the neighbouring dioceses, together with five thousand faithful were present.
Many hands joined together to ensure that this would always remain a memorable occasion. Mention should especially be made of Frs Kanauj Roy and Tushar Augustine Gomes, who saw to it that the ceremony would proceed with clockwork precision, along with all the Sisters of the Holy Cross, in whose school premises the ceremony was held, and the mellifluous singing of the choir from the three parishes of Thakurpukur, Keorapukur and Sajnaberia, led by Sri Aritra Sen, one of our finest lay leaders.
A beautiful felicitation programme and joyful welcome to the new Bishop concluded a memorable and historic day.
Present Geographic and Demographic Data
The diocese of Baruipur is situated in the South Eastern part of West Bengal (India) with lots of tidal rivers and clusters of islands. The diocese now comprises of South 24 Parganas District, part of North 24 Parganas District and a part of Kolkata Metropolis. These cover an area of 10, 568 square kilometers with a total population of 94, 45, 909 as per the census of 2011. The catholic Christian population currently is 62,847 as per the year 2018. The language spoken in the territory includes Bengali, English and Hindi.