His Holiness, Pope Francis appointed the Most Rev. Lawrence Subrato Howlader, C.S.C., as the sixth bishop and the second Metropolitan Archbishop of Chattogram (Chittagong) on February 19, 2021. The post has remained vacant since the death of Archbishop Moses Costa, C.S.C., on July 13, 2020.
Archbishop Howlader professed his First Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1988 and his Final Vows in 1993. He was ordained a Holy Cross priest on December 31, 1994. After serving in parish ministry and at St. Paul’s Seminary in the Diocese of Mymensingh from 2000-04, he studied at the Gregorian University in Rome and obtained a licentiate in depth psychology, spirituality, and counseling. He then served as Novice Master from 2004 to 2009.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Fr. Howlader as the first auxiliary bishop of Chittagong on May 7, 2009, a post he held until 2015, at which time Pope Francis appointed him as the first bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Barishal.
Read more about the history of Holy Cross in Bangladesh
The Archdiocese of Chattogram, the largest diocese geographically in Bangladesh, is where the Christian faith first came to East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1518. In addition to its rich religious and political heritage, Chattogram is importante conomically as it is the home of the main seaport of Bangladesh. The Archdiocese has about 30,000 Catholics in 11 parishes and four mission centers. Most Catholics are ethnic indigenous people from the Chittagong Hill Tracts area.
May God bless the new Archbishop of Chattogram and may he be strengthened by your prayers and support.