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Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes, S.D.B., passes away at 80

20 May 2024, Krishnagar: Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes, S.D.B., Bishop Emeritus of Krishnagar, West Bengal, passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 5:55 am in Manorama Hospital, Ranaghat, due to cardiac failure. He was 80 years old. Born on February 14, 1944, in Ashnabad, India (now in Bangladesh), Bishop Gomes dedicated his life to the service of God and the community.

Early Life and Priestly Ordination

Joseph Suren Gomes joined the Salesian Congregation in 1958 at the apostolic seminary in Bandel. He pursued higher education at Salesian College in Sonada and theological studies at Kristo Jyoti College in Bangalore. On December 21, 1974, he was ordained a priest at Ranaghat Church for the Salesian Province of Kolkata.

Dedicated Service

Bishop Gomes served in various capacities throughout his life, including Vice Rector at Bandel Seminary and Rector at Savio Bhavan, Azimganj, and Don Bosco Krishnagar. Known for his creative and effective educational methods, he was deeply committed to the boys under his care. His gentle and encouraging nature inspired many to deeper spiritual growth.

A Humble and Pious Man

Bishop Gomes was unassuming and lived a life of simplicity and piety. He reached out to those in need, embodying the spirit of service and compassion. Before his appointment as Bishop, he humbly questioned his worthiness, reflecting his deep sense of responsibility and humility.

Episcopal Ministry

At 58, Pope St. John Paul II appointed him the 7th Bishop of Krishnagar on April 17, 2002. His episcopal ordination took place on May 31, 2002. Bishop Gomes led the Diocese of Krishnagar for 17 years, retiring in May 2019. He was an active participant in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CCBI) and served as vice president of the Family Commission.

Legacy of Faith and Love

Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes leaves behind a lasting legacy of faith and service. His dedication to the Salesian mission and unwavering commitment to the people of Krishnagar will be fondly remembered. His life of simplicity, pastoral ministry, and hidden sacrifices made a profound impact on those who knew him.

In his homily at the funeral Mass, Bishop Nirmol Gomes remarked, “Do not be sad, instead believe and trust in me…. He was a Shepherd after my heart.” Bishop Gomes was remembered as humble, ever-smiling, and deeply spiritual. His life was described as “eucharistic,” marked by a profound concern for the poor and the least.

Final Farewell

The funeral Mass for Bishop Gomes was held on Monday, May 20, 2024, at 10:30 am in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer, Krishnagar. Attended by five bishops, numerous priests, nuns, and faithful, the burial took place in the public cemetery of the Guadalope Church Parish, Ranaghat, fulfilling his wish. The service concluded at 4:40 pm, reflecting the large number of people who came to pay their respects.

  • Fr. Soroj Mullick, SDB