Archbishop Moses Costa of Bangladesh’s Chittagong Archdiocese died at past nine o’clock in the morning on July 13 due to multiple strokes caused by brain hemorrhage.
He was 70 years old.
“With great sadness and loss I announced to you and to everyone concerned that His Grace, Archbishop Moses Costa, CSC, has expired today,” announced Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, CSC, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh.
On June 15, Archbishop Costa was found positive for the new coronavirus disease, the first known member of the clergy in Bangladesh to be infected with the disease.
On June 24, he was reported to have already recovered from the disease after tests found him negative of the virus.
The 70-year old archbishop is secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh and chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Healthcare Commission.
Before serving as archbishop of Chittagong, the prelate served as bishop of Chittagong and Dinajpur since 1996.
Chittagong was among the first of the eight Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh to issue COVID-19 health guidelines and closed all churches for public liturgy.
Bangladesh lifted the shutdown on May 31 and, since then, all dioceses except Chittagong have opened churches for public liturgy, including Masses.
“With his death Chattogram Archdiocese lost one of her fittest pastor-shepherd especially in these critical times, and the Catholic Church in Bangladesh has lost a guiding star,” said Bishop Gervas Rozario, vice president of the bishops’ conference.
Bishop Rozario said the late prelate “played a vital role” in the bishops’ conference for it to be able to respond to the need of the modern times.”
“The Bangladesh Catholic Church will never forget him for his contribution. He was exceptionally a person of vision, strong will, discipline and spiritual strength,” said Bishop Rozario.
“He did everything with his formative skill and efficiency that we in the Church in Bangladesh shall miss forever,” he added.
Archbishop Costa was born on Nov. 17, 1950, in Tumilia Parish, Dhaka. He was the youngest child of Paul Costa and Margaret Gomes.
He was ordained priest by Bishop Michael Rozario on Feb. 5, 1981.
On 20 July 1996, he was elected bishop of Dinajpur diocese and consecrated sixth bishop of the diocese n Sept. 6, 1996.
He served the diocese from 1996 to 2011 when he was transferred to the Diocese of Chittagong and later served as the first archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Chittagong.
In 2019, the Diocese of Chittagong celebrated the 5th centennial of the arrival of the Christian faith in Chattogram, Bengal.
The late prelate is remembered for the role he played in the development of education in the diocese. He opened several schools in remote areas for the indigenous peoples.
He also established several health centers, educational institutions, charitable organizations, and other non-profit groups.
In recognition for his work with the poor, he was conferred the title of Doctor of Humanities in 2005 by the University of Christ the King in the United States.
Archbishop Costa was also a recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for his charitable works and contributions to the community.