Ref. CBCI-Gen/Cir-04/2019 15th January, 2019
TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE HIERARCHY
Most Rev. Charles Soreng, SJ, Bishop of Hazaribag and Daltonganj Dioceses.
Your Eminence, Your Beatitude, Your Grace, Your Excellency, Your Lordship,
Bishop Charles Soreng, S.J. was born on 18.08.1934 in the village called Chidratoli, Rengarih Parish in Simdega District of Simdega Diocese. His parents were Mr. Thomas Soreng and Mrs Mariam Soreng. They were very devout and righteous Christian parents, therefore God blessed them with six children: three boys and three girls, among whom Charles Soreng was the eldest son in the family. Two brothers and one sister were called to heaven before Bp. Charles. Two of his sisters; second sister Mrs. Agnes and her children and youngest sister and brother in law and their children are with us to pay last tribute to their eldest brother and beloved Uncle Bp. Charles.
Bishop Charles completed his primary and middle school from Rengarih school. During his studies he heard the call from the Lord to become a priest like Samuel in the Old Testament. To strengthen this call and to follow the Lord in his footsteps, he came to Ranchi and joined the Apostolic School at St. John’s school Ranchi and completed his high school studies. He joined St. Xavier’s College Ranchi and finished his intermediate studies in 1957. After his intermediate, he joined St. Stanislas College, Hazariabg and entered the Novitiate to become a Jesuit Priest. He received his first vows on 30th July, 1957.
He completed his B.A. from St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi in 1962. For his Philosophy studies, he was sent to Gyana Deep Vidyapeeth and staying at De Nobili College Pune, completed his philosophy in 1965. He did his Regency in St. Xavier’s school Doranda, for one year and went back to Pune for his Theological studies in 1966 and was ordained Priest on 24th March 1969 for Ranchi Province. As a new priest, he rendered his services in St. Xavier’s College Ranchi and Loyola school Kunkuri, Jashpur. He did his M.A. in English from Sholapur University in 1974 and completed his B.Ed. from Jabalpur. After his B.Ed., he became the Principal of St. John’s High school, Ranchi and rendered his services there from 1974 to 1977 as a Principal. He completed his M.A. in Education in 1977 from Boston University U.S.A. After that he was appointed as a Lecturer and Rector of St. Xavier’s College Ranchi, and remained in the post from 1979 to 1985. From 1985 to 1990 he served as a Rector and Professor at St. Albert’s College, the major seminary of BIJHAAN Region. In the year 1990 he was elected as the Bishop of Daltonganj Diocese and was consecrated as Bishop of Daltonganj on 9th February 1990 at Mahuadanr Palamau District. He replaced Bp. George Saupin, S.J. who was transferred to Bhagalpur Diocese. Daltonganj diocese was spread from Palamau, Garhwa, Latehar to Bakoro District of Jharkhand. It was very difficult to reach the distant places and cater to the needs of the faithful and Shepherd them. For the good shepherding of the people and remain united with one and all, he requested from Propaganda Fide, Rome to divide Daltonganj Diocese. This petition was soon granted and new Diocese in the name of Hazaribag Catholic Diocese was created in 1995. He was appointed to be the first Bishop of Hazaribag Catholic Diocese which comprises of Chatra, Ramgarh, Hazaribag, Bokaro and Koderma civil districts of Jharkhand State. He was solemnly installed as the first Bishop of Hazaribag Catholic Diocese in 1995, Since then he served the diocese till he retired on 8th September 2012.
His Services at the Local and National Level:-
1992- 1994 Chair Person CBCI Commission for Proclamation of the Word of God
1994-1998 Secretary General to the CBCI Office, New Delhi.
1998- 2006 Chair Person of CBCI Commission for Education.
Member of the Governing body of St. John’s Medical College Bangaluru.
Chairman of CBCI Office for Tribal welfare.
1997- Chair Person of BIJHAAN Bishop’s Council
He also rendered his services as the Chancellor of St. Albert’s College, Ranchi in the Department of Theology.
On 24th December 2018 at about 11.00 a.m. he had a heart attack and he was immediately rushed to the nearby Arogyam Hospital, Hazaribag. On the following day, as his health improved, he was taken to Medanta Hospital Irba, Ranchi for the better treatment. His health continued to show signs of improvement and by 31st December 2018, he could talk and walk. So, he was discharged from Medanta hospital and was kept in Manresa house Ranchi. On 7th January 2019, he was shifted to Seva Nilaya Health Centre Aragate, Ranchi. On 11th January 2019 Bishop Charles got up as usual, got himself ready and had his breakfast. Then, he complained of some weakness. The attendant Brother Prabal Khakha called the Sisters and Doctor immediately. Though they reached soon to attend him, but he had already breathed his last at 8.40 a.m.
Bishop Charles was a people oriented person. He could mingle with all sorts of people. He gave special attention to the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden, specially the Tribals. He believed that it was only through proper education that their condition could be changed. He was a man of God. He show everyone as a child of God and believed in Universal brotherhood. As Bishop in Daltonganj and later in Hazaribag, he established “Serv Dharm Sambhav Samanway Samiti”. He worked tirelessly for bringing peace, among all sections of the people of the Society. The civil society Daltonganj as well as in Hazaribag will remember him fondly for all his efforts in this field.
May the good Lord, reward him with the Eternal Life, Consolation and Peace to all the family members, relatives, friends, all the Priests, Religious men – women and the Laity of Hazaribag Catholic Diocese, Jharkhand-India.
The Obituary has been received by Most Rev. Anand Jojo, Bishop of Hazaribag.
+ Anand Jojo
Hazaribag Catholic Diocese