ASIA NEWS REPORT
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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