Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Nirmala Carvalho

10/30/2008 (7 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

His final commitment culminated in a "kenosis" of total surrender, he was completely immersed in the Passion of our Crucified Lord.

Highlights

By Nirmala Carvalho

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

10/30/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


MUMBAI (AsiaNews) - "Fr. Digal was the treasurer of the diocese, an extremely sensitive priest, always considering the needs of other priests before his own, seeking always fraternal communion." This is how Rapheel Cheenath, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, remembers Fr. Bernard Digal, who died on the evening of October 28 at St. Thomas Hospital in Chennai.

(Proud to be Catholic? Show Your Support Right Now! Virtual Vigil of Prayer and Solidarity for the Persecuted Church in India. Please Sign the 'Catholic Action' Petition!)

Fr. Digal was attacked by a group of Hindu fundamentalists on the night of August 25, in the first days of persecution against the Christians of Orissa. In spite of the medical treatment he received, his health continued to worsen. On Saturday, October 25, he was taken to the hospital of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, where he underwent an operation to remove a blood clot that formed in his brain following his beating by the fundamentalists on the night of the attack. On October 27, his lungs collapsed, and he fell into a serious respiratory crisis, following which he was put on a respirator. He received the anointing of the sick at 9:25 on October 28, in the presence of Archbishop Cheenath, and died.

"Fr. Bernard has been given the martyr's crown, he has received the palm of victory from the saints in heaven," says the archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar. "Ever since the violence against the Christian erupted in December '07, Fr. Bernard hardly ever rested, continously coordinating efforts to rehabilitate the people - through peace initiatives, and providing all assistance to the people to avail of the compensation and seeking all measures to bring the lives of the people derailed by the carnage on track. Fr .Bernard was deeply devoted to the Blessed Mother and the rosary and often shared with us how he sought refugee in the Madonna in moments of despair.

"The Kandhamal Chrsitains now have a powerful intercessor in heaven, Fr. Bernard will now continue his work for our people from his heavenly home. His final commitment culminated in a kenosis of total surrender, he was completely immersed in the Passion of our Crucified Lord, and now we hope in the glory of the Ressurection. Our belief in the victory won by the resurrected Christ is reason for hope - the hope that heaven lies beyond death."

Fr. Bernard met with AsiaNews last September 10, during his convalescence at Holy Spirit Hospital in Mumbai (see photo). He was 48 years old, and was ordained on May 29, 1992. He was a native of the village of Tiangia in Kandhamal, one of the areas most severely affected by the recent anti-Christian violence perpetrated by Hindu fundamentalists. He recounted the dramatic moments of the attack, following which "for an entire night, he remained unconscious and half naked in the forest." His funeral will be celebrated tomorrow, Thursday, October 30.

Fr. Ajay Singh, director of the Jan Vikas, a social assistance center of the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, recalls the "holiness" of Fr. Digal, his "missionary zeal," his "service to the people," his words of "forgiveness" toward those responsible for the violence, and his constant work aimed at "their rehabilitation." Fr. Manoj Digal, a cousin of the victim and a native of the same village, recalls that "since December, Fr. Bernard worked tirelessly with the Kandhamal Christians who were suffering violence and humiliation, His virtues of humility, forgiveness, inherent justice, goodness and self-sacrificing love will nourish the faith of our people."



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Mafia-related demonic possessions cause children to froth at mouth and convulse Watch

Image of Over 80 school children in Peru are believed to be victims of demon possession (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A "mass demonic possession" has erupted at Peruvian school Elsa Perea Flores, leaving over 80 students convulsing, frothing at the mouth, fainting, and displaying erratic behavior. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The children, most of whom are between 11 and ... continue reading


Obama to Hiroshima: Will he really be welcome? Watch

Image of US President Barack Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima (aljazeera).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to become the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima following the atomic attack August 6, 1945. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Critics worried Obama's trip was to apologize for the devastation, but according to The New York ... continue reading


Child raped by father then lashed as punishment Watch

Image of India continues to modernize itself but the shift is too slow for many (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

India is famous for it's diverse culture, vibrant clothing, incredible festivals, elephant gods, elaborate gold jewelry, the Taj Mahal and spicy food. It is an amazing place for tourists to visit - but what about the natives? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - India ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Terrorists behead Canadian hostage, release FULL VIDEO Watch

Image of Abu Sayyaf is an ISIS affiliate in the Philippines.

By California Network

Abu Sayyaf, an affiliate of ISIS in the Philippines, has released the full video of the beheading of Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The graphic video shows the brutal beheading of Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel. He was beheaded ... continue reading


China prepares long-range NUCLEAR WARHEAD in battle for South China Sea Watch

Image of China tested their DF-41 missile (globalsecurity).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

China continues to test the limits of its DF-41 long-range intercontinental ballistic missile as tensions rise between the country and the U.S. over the South China Sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The Free Beacon, Pentagon officials reported the ... continue reading


God's Intervention? Baby girl incredibly survives devastating Japan earthquake Watch

Image of Rescuers discover 8-month-old baby in the rubble of a crumbled building (BBC).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, nine have been reported dead and over 800 people suffered injuries - but God ensured the safety of one blessed little girl. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to NBC News, an 8-month-old girl was sleeping peacefully when ... continue reading


No more Christmas in Nepal? Watch

Image of Nepal says no more Christmas.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nepal first recognized Christmas as a national holiday eight years ago, but the 2015 Christmas celebration will be its last. Nepali government officials announced Christmas is no longer recognized as a national holiday, prompting the Christian minority to rise together ... continue reading


'This Christian nursing home is not a place for religious activities': Christians victims of persecution Watch

Image of China destroys thousands of crucifixes to effort to eradicate Christianity (ChinaAid).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

China's government has destroyed over 1,500 crucifixes in Zhejiang province, China as part of a plan to eradicate the Christian communities. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Christianity is spreading across China, leading the communist government to grow upset over ... continue reading


We DON'T know it all! Discovery proves Silk Road reached farther than believed Watch

Image of The Silk Road ended with the arrival of sailing ships and modern transportation, but it's mystique still captures the imagination and intrigues historians who appreciate its impact on the development of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A well-known ancient trade network may have stretched much father than previously believed according to new evidence discovered in Nepal. Chinese-made objects in a 1,600 year-old tomb suggests the Silk Road may have extended south into Nepal. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'We are horrified at this Easter attack, and the tragic loss of life': Easter bombing kills at least 70 Watch

Image of The Easter bombing in Pakistan shocked the world (AFP).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Religious freedom advocates have condemned the Easter Sunday bombing in Pakistan that killed more than 70, while insisting upon reform within the country to prevent future such attacks. Lahore, Pakistan (CNA/EWTN News) -  "We are horrified at this Easter attack, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer to Holy Michael the Archangel HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Benedict XVI to make public appearance?
  • Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More