Breakfast with the Archbishop
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to have Mass and breakfast with the Archbishop of Kolkata, His Excellency Thomas D’Sousza. After having mass with the Archbishop, our group drove over to the Archbishop’s residence. The residence is a magnificent old house that speaks to the former days of prosperity in Kolkata. Archbishop D’Sousza had an American style breakfast prepared with a Bengali twist. We had fried eggs, sandwiches, stir fry, tea and coffee. He ate with us and answered questions about his life and ministry. All of this he did with great intentionality and care. After this we had an opportunity to pray in his private chapel and take some time to rest in silence with the Lord.
Later on we gathered together to talk with the Archbishop one last time. Many of us asked questions about his early life and his call to the priesthood. It was inspiring to hear his great willingness to follow the Lord with such amazing trust. In early high school, a bishop from another diocese visited his school and told the young men there of the need for priests in his home diocese. The young Archbishop D’Sousza and three other young men decided then to leave all behind and follow the bishop to the diocese located on the other side of India and join the seminary there. Later on in life he ended up replacing that very bishop who He followed to his new home upon his death. From there he was moved to be archbishop in Kolkata. He is a down to earth man who is easy to talk to and happy to share about the faith of the people and the strengths of his diocese. He is realistic about the struggles that his people face, but has great faith in the Lord and hope that God’s providence will prevail.
As we were about to leave his home, I approached him to ask his blessing on some rosaries I had recently purchased. He was more than happy to oblige and after the blessing encourage me with great excitement to pray the rosary, reminding of its great power and importance. It was edifying to encounter a man with such great trust in the Lord and love for our Blessed Mother. I can confidently say that the Archdiocese of Kolkata has been entrusted to a worthy man.