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Religious Institute Founder archbishop dies

By C.M. Paul
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Kolkata, Apr. 18. : Archbishop Emeritus Lucas Sircar of Calcutta and founder of two religious Institutes of Adoration Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Sadhan (prayerful or ascetic) Brothers died, 18 April 2021.
Kolkata Salesian Provincial Secretary Fr Jacob Iruppakaattu released a note saying, ''Dear Confreres, this is to convey another sad news, that of the passing away of Most Rev. Lucas Sirkar SDB, Archbishop Emeritus of Archdiocese of Kolkata, at 1.00 pm on Sunday 18 April, 2021 at Aradhana Mandir, Krishnagar due to cardiac arrest. He was 84.

Details about the Funeral are yet to be communicated.

Made bishop of Krishnagar in 1984, Lucas Sircar was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Calcutta on 14 April 2000. After the retirement of Henry Sebastian D'Souza, he succeeded him on 2 April 2002 as Archbishop of Calcutta.

On February 23, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation request made by Lucas Sircar citing advanced age.

On retirement, Lucas Sircar spent several years as a simple priest and confrere in the Salesian Community of Bandel Basilica ministering to pilgrims at historical Marian shrine of Our Lady of Happy Voyage Bandel.

In his last days, he retired to Mother House of the Adoration Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which he founded as Bishop of Krishnagar in 1986.

The Adoration Brothers of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was established in Krishnagar on 11 June 2012 when Archbishop Lucas Sirkar accepted five men to join it.

The two congregations do not seek pontifical status as they were founded to serve the local Church. They are also designed to be self-supporting and would not rely on the diocese.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata once asked Bishop Sircar  to have Religious engaged in Eucharistic adoration in each parish. The two congregations are his answer to her request.

The charism of these men aged 20 to 27 who call themselves Sadhan (prayerful or ascetic) Brothers. is to pray and to work.

They work mainly in Krishnagar diocese comprising of Nadia and Murshidabad districts to train youths in vocational skills such as cattle-rearing, carpentry, farming, welding, pisciculture and driving.

With a spirituality of ''contemplation in action,'' the congregation members spend three-and-half hours in daily prayer and Eucharistic adoration. END
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