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Thomas D’Souza becomes Archbishop of Calcutta



(February 23, 2012) A new head has taken charge of the Archdiocese of Calcutta in Eastern India’s West Bengal state. Coadjutor Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta became archbishop on Thursday after Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Salesian Archbishop Lucas Sirkar, who stepped down on reaching the retirement age of 75. Unlike an auxiliary bishop, the coadjutor bishop has the right to succession following the death or retirement of the current bishop. 61-year old Archbishop D’Souza hails from southern India’s Karnataka state, where he was born on Aug. 26, 1950, in Ayapady, Mangalore Diocese. As a youngster he opted to work for the missions and came to Darjeeling Diocese in the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal in 1966. He was ordained priest in 1977 and after the death of Bishop Eric Benjamin of Darjeeling in 1994, he served as diocesan administrator until 1997, when he was appointed the bishop of the new Diocese of Bagdogra. He was consecrated bishop in January, 1998. On March 12 last year, Pope Benedict appointed Bishop Thomas D’Souza the Coadjutor Archbishop of Calcutta, in Kolkata city. Archbishop Lucas Sircar who earlier headed Krishnagar diocese had been transferred to Calcutta as archbishop in 2002.




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