MOST REV. HUBERT D’ ROSARIO SDB, DD
Born at Calicut [Kozhikode], Kerala: February 21, 1919
Profession: December 25, 1937
Priestly Ordination at St. Mary’s Parish
Church, Kotagiri: April 16, 1947
Appointed Bishop of Dibrugarh: July 06, 1964
Episcopal Ordination at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Matunga
Date: September 06, 1964
Motto: “Thy Kingdom Come”
Arrived in Dibrugarh: December 12, 1964
Bishop of Dibrugarh: 1964-1969
Took Charge as the Archbishop of Shillong–Guwahati: October 05, 1969
Archbishop of Shillong: 1969-1994
Foundation of the V.S.D.B: May 31, 1983
Left for Eternal Home: August 30, 1994
Most Rev. Hubert D’Rosario is fondly remembered today as a missionary Bishop and prophet of evangelization. He was born and brought up in Southern part of India in the early twentieth century. It was in Tirupatur that God’s call started steering deep and strong in his heart. As a boy he was attracted by the Salesian Brothers at football field. He was ordained a priest in 16th April 1947. After he served there for few decades in various capacities, he was elected Bishop of Dibrugarh in 1964. He was thrilled not because he was appointed Bishop but because he loved to come and serve God who lives in the hills and valleys of North East India. Some say, “He accepted to be Bishop for the sake of North East India”. His life and dedication proved their say.
For thirty years as shepherd of this beautiful region, Hubert extensively toured the length and breadth of this paradise on earth. He knew his flock in valleys and hills, “I know my own and my own know me” (Jn 10:14). He visited their homes, celebrated Mass in their churches and blessed them on various occasions. Those who had toured with him, knew the comfort at that time. The love for his flock was so strong that he forgot all the pains and discomfort he underwent.
Archbishop Hubert was new to the place, the people, language and cultures but he was no stranger to them because he had the heart with an open space for everyone. In this way he was welcomed, accepted and loved by the people as their own. The only language he used was love and affection.
Archbishop Hubert changed the face of North East India through his ministry and dedication. He promoted local cultures and inculturated the Gospel into it and evangelized the culture in the spirit of the teaching of Christ. The beautiful hills, rich cultures and unique personalities the people possess became well known to the world during his time. The historic visit of the Holy Father, St. John Paul II in February 1986 was beautifully coloured with cultural attires, dances and the gifts and talents of the soil. It was a celebration of unity where the whole of Northeast India came together in unity in spite of diversity in race and language. Younger generations are inspired by the sharing of elders about the unforgettable visit of the Holy Father.
There are many monuments named after him even at that time when he was alive. His legacy is imbibed by consecrated men and women who work for the cause of the Gospel. Lay collaborators in the church continue tread the path he walked. The Visitation Sisters of Don Bosco (VSDB) who in the living footprints of the Founder continue to tour the length and breadth of the place to preach, catechize and evangelize.
Archbishop Hubert was very successful in his ministry because he was a man of faith and prayer. His flock knew that his hands were never empty of the holy Rosary. All who knew him say, “He was a holy Bishop”. He had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament where he spent hours and hours at night before he retired to his bed. His great love for Mother Mary and the Sacred Heart were visible devotions everyone witnessed. After his death in 1994, people turn to him as one who intercedes and started praying to him for various intentions. Sign of favours and miracles are taking place today. His tomb has become a centre of pilgrimage for people who trust his prayers as they did when he was alive.