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Kolkata Province Bids Farewell to Br. Paul Bikho


By IC Jacob, SDB
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Kolkata, Feb. 27. Br. Paul Bikho, a humble, simple and hard working Salesian Brother from Kolkata Province, was laid to rest at Bandel Basilica on 27th February 2014 in the presence of numerous Salesian Confreres and Salesian Family members, teachers and friends. The funeral Mass was presided over by Rt. Rev Joseph Gomes,Bishop of Krishnanagar Diocese while the final commendation was done by Fr. Jose Pampadiyil, Vice Provincial.
At 1.30 PM while welcoming the participants and introducing the funeral ceremonies Fr. Raymond Tudu commented, ''As a Salesian Brother you have accompanied so many young people to Jesus through your unassuming and exemplary lifestyle; today we want to offer you back to the Lord, who gave you life and nourished you.''

Fr. Pampadiyil gave a short life sketch of Br. Paul weaving the theme Joyful commitment to Salesian life and integral community living. He also read out the condolence messages of Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor and Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, Provincial.

Before the final commendation in the Basilica,tributes were given by various persons who spoke about the humble, simple, unassuming and caring ways of Br. Paul which had endeared everyone. Bishop Joseph Gomes expressed his joy at being present at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Profession of Br. Paul at Berhampore.

Fr. Joseph Pathickal, Rector & Principal Don Bosco Park Circus, speaking on behalf of his community thanked the doctors and nurses, the Salesian Communities at Bandel, other confreres, Sisters of Mary Immaculate at Natty House and other friends who came forward to help while Br. Paul was sick and to assist at his funeral. Fr. Pathickal said that Br. Paul used to tell him that he was suffering much and that he was offering the sufferings for the sanctification and holiness of his community members and the province.

Mr. Bernard, a companion and a close associate of Br. Paul, while giving his impressions said that as a boy Paul was quite reserved and pious. Speaking of his later life he said that Br. Paul had a dream to start a technical training centre coupled with self-employment and income generating programme for the youth in Myanmar. Mr. Bernard on behalf of the Salesian confreres of Myanmar and the relatives of Br. Paul, expressed his gratitude to the Salesians, Past pupils and friends who took great care of Br. Paul.

Br. Theophilus Tirkey, a student and a close friend of Br. Paul, said that at Park Circus, Br. Paul would wait for him after the class so as to take tea with him and get updated about what is happening in the technical school. He had in mind the welfare of the boys and the good of the institution where he worked earlier for about 20 years.

Mrs. Victoria D'Souza, on behalf of her own family as well as the Salesian Family members thanked Br. Paul for his friendship and close association with them.

At 3.30 PM the mortal remains of Br. Paul were accompanied to the cemetery where after the final prayers by the Vice Provincial,Br. Paul was laid to eternal rest.

There was great simplicity in the funeral celebrations participated by over 60 Salesians along with a good number of Salesian Family members, pre-novices, aspirants, teachers and the staff members of Don Bosco Park Circus, as well as other religious, particularly the CTC Sisters from Berhampore.

Br. Paul born on 7th July 1937 leaves our land. All those who came in contact with him will continue to remember him as a humble, integral and holy Salesian who never got a chance to ascend the pulpit but preached very powerfully by the witness of a holy life.
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