ASIA/INDIA - New diocese of Buxar established and first bishop appointed

Monday, 12 December 2005

Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, pope Benedict XVI on 12 December 2005 established the diocese of Buxar (India), with territory taken from, the archdiocese of Patna, making it suffragan of that metropolitan See. The Holy Father appointed first Bishop of Buxar (India) Rev. William D’Souza SJ, former Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Fathers and parish priest in Itarhi.
The new diocese of Buxar (nom. lat. Buxaren/sis) includes 4 civil districts: Buxar, Bhojpur, Bhabua and Rohtas, which lie between the River Sone in the south east which separates them from the archdiocese of Patna, and the River Ganges to the north west. It will have an area of 11,311 sq. km; a population of 5,781,132, including 69,865 Catholics, gathered in 13 parishes, assisted by 8 diocessan priests and 14 religious and also 63 women religious. The dioceses which border on the new diocese are: Varanasi to the west Muzaffarpur to the north, Patna to the east and Daltonganj to the south. The parish church of Buxar dedicated to Mary Mother of Perpetual Help" will serve as a cathedral.
The first bishop of Buxar Rev. William D’Souza SJ, was born on 5 March 1946 in the parish of Madanthar, diocese of Mangalore. He attended local schools and then St. Aloysius High School in Mangalore. In 1965 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate and studied regular courses of philosophy at Shembanagur and Theology Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune. He was ordained a priest for the Jesuit Province of Patna on 3 May 1976. Since then he has been: Assistant novice master (1977-1978); pastoral work and teaching Ara school and parish (Patna); Superior of the Jesuit community in Ara and Jesuit Hostel prefect (1978-1980); head of minor seminary at Muzaffarpur (1981-1986); parish priest at Chuhari, diocese of Bettiah (1986-1989); parish priest at Bettian Superior of Jesuit community W. Champaran district (1989-1992); parish priest at Muzaffarpur, bishop’s secretary and in his absence for a year diocesan administrator; Superior of the Jesuit community in Muzaffarpur (1992-1995); Jesuit Provincial Superior of Patna (1995-2001); parish priest Our Lady of Fatima Church at Itarhi, Buxar district (since 2001). (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 12/12/2005; Righe 68; Parole 405)