A simple and courageous Rev. Bishop Victor Gnanapragasam of Quetta in Pakistan, died at the age of 80 early morning of 12th Dec. 2020.
Yesterday, on 15th Dec 2020 there was his funeral Mass in which all the Bishops and Cardinal Joseph Couts were present and said their last good bye to him, Bishop Victor is buried at the compound of Holy Rosary Cathedral Quetta.
His Grace Archbishop Joseph Arshad, President of Pakistan Catholic Bishop’s Conference and Bishop of Rawalpindi Diocese in his Homily has said that he on behalf of Ambassador of His Holiness, Archbishop Christopher and all the Catholic Bishops convey the deep condolences to all the family members, friends and priests and laity of Vicariate of Quetta, indeed it a sad news for all of us.
He also said that the Holy Bible gives us all the consolation, we all hand over Bishop Victor in the merciful hands of God in his love and thanking God for him. St Pauls in the Romans said that if we live, we live for God and if we die we die for Him, Bishop Victor loved his people and lived 80 years of his life and 55 years as a missionary priest and spent 13 years as Bishop and died in the Lord.
As a follower of Jesus the Good shepherd, he fought a good life, and as Priest and Bishop in Pakistan he won many hearts, and streghtened the faith of the people. He had a missionary vision and supported his people in everything and made his life as an example for many. In 1973 he left his country Sri Lanka and at least 50 years he served in Pakistan, he served mostly in fasalabad Diocese and even in Multan, and served on the major posts in the Oblates Congregation, and following the Church he led the Church of Blochistan as Bishop.
His one of Sister Sr. Helen also served in Pakistan, Bishop Victor was dedicated to his work, and was a soft hearted and fulfilled his responsibilities wherever he was appointed. He strengthen the Church of Quetta Diocese and he always found among the people and was there whenever his people were found in a difficult situation.
We thank God for his life and his services, may his soul rest in peace. He was a witness of Christ as a Good Shepherd and was waiting for his retirement but on the request of His Holiness Pope he extended for another 5 years as a Bishop and whole heartedly he again served the Diocese of Quetta.
Bishop Victor became parish priest in Gojra, Diocese of Faisalabad, from 1976-77. He attended a training course in Youth Ministry in Manila, Philippines from 1977-1979. He was parish priest in Toba Tek Singh, Diocese of Faisalabad from 1978-1980. He was parish priest at Khanewal, Diocese of Multan, from 1979–1985; Superior of the OMI Delegation in Pakistan, 1980–1982 and again parish priest in Gojra from 1982-1986.
He was once again parish priest in Toba Tek Singh from 1987–1989; undertook studies in Psychology and Spirituality at St. Anselm Institute in Kent, England and then later courses in Spirituality at the Angelicum, Rome, 1989-1992.
He was parish priest in Gojra for a third time from 1992–1993; Assistant in the formation house of the Oblates in Karachi, 1993–1997 and First Counselor of the OMI Delegation in Pakistan from 1997-2001.
He was appointed to the post of Apostolic Prefect Of Quetta in December 2001.On 29 April 2010 Pope Benedict XVI elevated the apostolic prefecture of Quetta, to the rank of Apostolic vicariate, with the same name and territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Victor as apostolic vicar of the new ecclesiastical circumscription and the titular bishop of Timida.
Mr. Rehmat Masih one of the member of Quetta Diocese in his comments to Asia News said that he opened his life in Holiness of Christ, he lives his whole life in Christ, He was symbol of the light of God and now he is one to the Lord. He was the first prefect of the Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan.
He took his final vows and was ordained a priest on December 21, 1966. He has served in Pakistan as a priest since 1973 and is a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Pakistan. His death is a great loss for the Church in Pakistan and especially for Quetta Diocese.