Wednesday, November 28, 2012


He died last night of respiratory complications. The funeral will be tomorrow, in the cathedral of Dinajpur. Animated by great missionary zeal, Fr. Corba was described as a leader, but shy at the same time. Three times regional superior, in 1997 he founded a training center for catechists and lay people.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Fr. Enzo Corba died last night, a PIME missionary (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) of 81 years, more than 50 of which were spent in Bangladesh. As a result of respiratory complications, he was hospitalized yesterday afternoon at St. Vincent's diocesan hospital in Dinajpur. A few hours later, at 1:20 a.m., he died. The funeral will be held tomorrow at 10:30 (local time) in the Cathedral of Dinajpur. The body will be buried next to the church of Singra, near the center of formation for catechists and lay people which he founded in 1997 and directed until his death.

Described as a born animator of enormous moral stature, Fr. Corba was considered a "guru" and a leader among his brethren, for the great missionary zeal that animated him. Attentive to pastoral work, serving the poor and interreligious dialogue, the priest devoted himself primarily to the evangelization of unbelievers. A shy man and sometimes critical of the Church and of the PIME, he always made his presence constructive, never opting out and remaining supportive and involved in the mission.

Born March 5, 1931 in Montefiascone (Viterbo), Fr. Corba was ordained a PIME priest in 1956. In 1958, he departed for Dinajpur (then East Pakistan). His first experiences were at Ruhea, with Fr. Luigi Alvigini and brother Massimo Teruzzi, in Bonpara, with Fr. Luigi Pinos, at Beneedwar, with Fr. Giuseppe Cavagna, and among the Santal tribes. Thrice elected Regional Superior, it was during his second term that the War of Independence broke out. At the end of 1971 Bangladesh was created, and to remain with his people and his community, Fr. Corba renounced participating in the Chapter Update. Upon his third re-election - in 1972 - the missionary declined the office. Called by the Bishop of Chittagong (in the southern part of the country), for 17 years he lived in the village of Rajarapur. Here, living at the level of the people, he was able to establish relationships of dialogue and cooperation between Muslims, Hindus and Christians, helping them to overcome their mutual closure. From 1991 to 1997 he was in the Philippines: along with Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra and Fr. Salvatore Carzedda (killed in 1992), he founded the Euntes Asian Centre. Back in Bangladesh, Fr. Corba returned to the north of the country. In Singra (about 40km from Dinajpur) he opened a training center for catechists of the village and lay people in general, which he directed until his death.


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