On May 22, Archbishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader, C.S.C., was installed as the second archbishop and sixth bishop of Chittagong, now known as Chattogram, at Our Lady of Holy Rosary Cathedral. He succeeds the late Archbishop Moses M. Costa, C.S.C., who died of complications due to the coronavirus on July 12, 2020. A native of the archdiocese, Archbishop Howlader previously served as its auxiliary bishop from 2009-15.
Attendance at the simple ceremony was by invitation only and was limited to about 125 guests. A much grander celebration was scheduled for April 9 but was postponed due to the national lockdown imposed by the government on April 5.
Among the guests were apostolic nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry, Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, C.S.C., Archbishop Emeritus of Dhaka, and bishops from all seven dioceses of the country, including the Most Rev. Ponen Paul Kubi, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Mymensingh. The Most Rev. Theotonius Gomes, C.S.C., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Dhaka, was also present.
At the ceremony, Archbishop Kocherry also announced the appointment of Archbishop Howlader as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Barishal, until a new bishop is appointed. Archbishop Howlader previously served as the diocese’s first bishop.
In his comments to the faithful, Archbishop Howlader appealed for prayers and said his goals for the Archdiocese are fraternity, faith formation, and development of the local church.
“I have been called to serve God's people through acts of sanctification, promotion of faith, and guidance. I need your prayer and cooperation,” said the new Archbishop.
As part of the installation program, the people of the Archdiocese gave Archbishop Howlader a traditional, Bengali welcoming ceremony. Afterward, the Archbishop paid tribute to the late Archbishop Costa by praying at his grave.
Please offer your prayerful best wishes to Archbishop Howlader as he shepherds the church and the People of God in Chattogram. May his ministry be blessed a hundredfold!
(Photos are courtesy of Chattogram Archdiocesan News Service)