Our Founder touched the lives of many around him, and for all these he holds a place of singular importance. Read what people who knew and interacted with Father Bishop have to say about our founder.

What others say about Bishop Morrow...

Monsignor George Schley
Domkapituar, Archdiocese of Bamberg, Germany.
What I like best in Bishop Morrow is his innate goodness. There is a simplicity and naturalness in his manner that is very pleasing. Also his Christian optimism shows forth true faith. And his optimism banishes any sadness in those he meets.”

Msg. Schley with our founder

Very Rev. Fr. Nicholas Lo Groi, sdb
Salesian College, Sonada, West Bengal.

I am happy to have this opportunity to express my feelings of esteem and gratitude towards a person I sincerely love. I came to know Bishop Morrow from 1941 when he used to come up to Sonada, Salesian College for his holidays. We were young clerics then and used to admire the youthful and energetic Bishop of Krishnagar speaking to us enthusiastically of his plans for the development of his diocese. These yearly contacts continued in later years when I as on the staff of the College as Catechist, Prefect of Studies, and finally as Rector. However, it was only when I became Provincial of Calcutta that my contacts, made then much more frequent, became marked by sincere affection, esteem, and true friendship. Whenever I was in Krishnagar, I made it a point to pay him a visit, a thing which he was always appreciating very much. We used to talk at length of many topics concerning the Church and our Congregation. Occasionally we were expressing different points of view, but he never took it amiss, allowed me to differ and continued to treat me with sincere fatherly love. He showed always great interest in whatever concerned our Province. He was in fact reading with interest the “Calcutta News” and occasionally was writing to me his own comments and appreciation regarding various news items. His long life as a Priest and as Bishop lived in a spirit of total dedication to the service of the Church and of souls is for me a source of inspiration. No doubt, the Lord must have a great reward prepared for his “Good and Faithful Servant”

Bishop Eric Benjamin
Bishop of Darjeeling, West Bengal (1981).

Dear Bishop Morrow, ... Your sisters [SMI] owe so much to their ‘Father Bishop’; but to the younger Bishops of the hierarchy also you have been a Father Bishop, encouragement and guide. When the Lord spoke of himself as Good Shepherd he did not speak of an age limit; may he keep you many more years amongst us to inspire us with your priestly presence. ...

Rev. Fr. Joseph Putz, SJ
Member of Vidya Jyoti Theological Faculty, Delhi; Peritus at Vatican Council II.

I remember especially two occasions when Bishop Morrow effectively intervened in the conciliar debate, [at Vatican Council II], in his own inimitable style - very bold, but with a smile or a joke. His first intervention took place during the discussion on the liturgy. After a lengthy debate on the use of the vernacular, most the bishops seemed to be satisfied with a restricted use - the restriction concerning the sacramental “forms”, which had to remain in Latin. At this psychological moment Bishop Morrow intervened and demanded a fully vernacular liturgy. Keeping the forms in Latin, he explained, would seem to attribute a kind of magical power to the Latin formula.

The restriction was eventually removed. Another intervention concerned the distinction between venial and mortal sin. Bishop protested against the arbitrariness of moralists who have multiplied mortal sins by, for example, making it a grave matter for a Catholic to eat meat, however little, on a Friday - or a priest to omit even one “hour” of the prayers of breviary. “Can we seriously hold”, Bishop asked, “that such people will go to hell together with murderers and adulterers?” A day later the same matter was taken up by the Melchite Partiarch, Maximos IV. Today, even without any official declaration, the former strictness has disappeared from our textbooks.

Rev. Fr. John Zampetti, SDB
Consultant of the S.C. for Evangelization of Peoples, Rome.

Reminiscences ....
I had the honor of first knowing Bishop Louis LaRavaoire Morrow in Rome, on the occasion of his Episcopal ordination by Pope Pius XII, in October 1939. What struck at that time was his lean, athletic figure, coupled with a direct, yet gentle-almost religious - feeling for people. I had known that he had been very active and successful in the ministry in Manila, Philippines. But it came as a surprise to me when I learned that he had founded the “Catholic Truth Society, Manila”, and had published a good number of catechetical works, intended for children and adults. Among these are “My Bible History” and “My Catholic Faith”, a book that was hugely successful.

I realized then that I had met a Salesian that had already distinguished himself as an evangelizer and a pioneer in Catechetics. Subsequently, I had the pleasure of being Bishop Morrow’s guest at his house in his diocese of Krishnagr in 1953 and again in 1965. Each time I had occasion to observe the variety and depth of his pastoral interests.

He introduced me to his “Sisters of Mary Immaculate”, and made it possible for me to see some of their widespread missionary activity and to appreciate their initiatives in the field of education and catechetics. In 1962 I had the good fortune of standing by him through the first session of the Council [Vatican II], and hear him speak clearly and knowledgeably for liturgical reform. The liturgy, especially the Eucharistic liturgy, has been an important pastoral concern with him through his life.

Eileen Egan
Historian, Catholic Relief Services, New York City, New York.

Bishop Morrow -- Refuge and Strength of his People
Throughout history, men and women of God have found themselves, in God’s providence, in troubled and agonized corners of the world where their special gifts could be utilized for the human family.

Bishop Morrow was planted in a famine-stricken area, close to a newly declared border -- across which a flood of frightened and destitute men, women and children flowed without ceasing year after year. At the very height of the influx into Bengal from Bangladesh, Bishop Morrow gave refuge to threatened people on the basis of pure need, without reference to caste, creed, or any other factor. During that troubled period of India’s partition, Bishop’s reconciling presence and timely help resulted in a diminution of the violence that marked other border areas. He truly followed his Master in the ministry of reconciliation.

We of Catholic Relief Services owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Bishop Morrow. In India’s time of travail, he became a channel of help from Catholic Relief Services. At a time when the agency had no representation in India, he served as its delegate, taking time off from his heavy pastoral and relief work to travel time and again to Delhi. Out of the conferences in Delhi grew intensified assistance from Catholic Relief Services to Bengal, and also in time, a nation-wide aid and development program reaching into every corner of India.

The Sisters of Mary Immaculate, founded by Bishop Morrow, performed heroic medical and relief service, when, in 1971, another influx of refugees from across the border inundated Bengal. Trained in many branches of medical aid, the sisters saved countless lives in Krishnagar and in the jam-packed camps dotting the surrounding countryside. They carried out for months on end the saving and healing work that won Bishop Morrow undying gratitude at the time of India’s partition nearly a quarter of a century earlier.

Florence (Trudy) Klotz
My Mission House, Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA.

A very Good Sense of Humor
Most of my contacts with Bishop Morrow over the years have been in the handling and distributing of his many books. OUR CATHOLIC FAITH has been and still is the best catechism ever published! Bishop had a very good sense of humor. I remember how on one occasion someone walked into our office ringing a small hand-bell! We looked up from our work to see Bishop Morrow!

Quote: “Here I am announcing myself coming from India”. Working with and for the Bishop over the years has been a great honor for me.

Florienne S. Esper and Madeleine Andracke
Detroit, Michigan, USA. (1981)

We pay our tribute to Bishop Morrow for his deep and sincere concern for those around him, especially for his beloved children -- the Sisters of Mary Immaculate. He has demonstrated his goodness, his integrity, his humility, and his innumerable ways of lightening the burdens of others and of reaching the hearts of people of all levels. We appreciate, too, his keen sense of humor. We often recall the little white thread lying so innocently on the lapel of his black coat, which in our attempt to remove it, would result in pulling a continuous stretch of the same white thread (hidden from our view in a concealed pocket.) He had numerous other ‘gadgets’ to entertain the youngsters and adults as well! We have been honored by his visits to our home in the past; above all, we are privileged that our sister, Sr. Frances, is and has been a member of his beloved Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate these many years.

Fr. Joseph Kezhakkekara, SDB
Provincial Superior, Salesian Province of Kolkata

The arrival of Bishop Morrow was truly a turning point in the history of the diocese of Krishnagar. In the terribly distressing situation of the Second World War and post-war days, he set himself to work for the good of his people with tenacity and courage. He always remained a loving shepherd of his flock. By means of a well planned net work of little centres and a carefully programmed action in the villages, through mofussil, he furthered the work of evangelization and catechesis. With an intuitive mind and after the heart of his Father, Don Bosco, he perceived that the future of the Church would depend on the education and Christian formation of the young. If today the diocese is so well served with educational institutions it goes to his credit. He was an accomplished scholar and writer and he used his pen most effectively in the field of catechesis. His “Our Catholic Faith” has been and still is a great contribution in the teaching of Christian doctrine. But, perhaps, the finest and the most lasting gift he had made to the diocese and the Church at large is the gift of a religious Institute, the sisters of Mary immaculate. As father and founder he has passed on to his sisters the best of himself -- his missionary ideals, the vision and spirit of Don Bosco, the loving Little Way of St. Therese, an ardent and personal love for the Church, the Eucharist and Mary. More than anywhere else, his memory will live on in this little Institute and the glow of his priestly and missionary vision will continue to find fulfilment in the fidelity of his sister apostles. While expressing my sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for the great work that Father Bishop has accomplished in his life time, I pray for God’s special blessings upon him and the diocese that he helped to build up with so much dedication and sacrifice.

Bishop Edward E. Swanstrom
Director of Catholic Relief Services, 1011 First Avenue, Suite 1357, New York, New York 10022.

In the privilege I had over the years, as the Director of Catholic Relief Services -- United States Catholic Conferences, the Foreign Relief Organization of the American Bishops, to visit most of the deprived countries of the world, I naturally met many bishops and priests. There was hardly anyone whom I met that I held in greater admiration and affection than my dear friend Bishop Morrow. I had occasion to meet him many times while I was in India and felt privileged in being able to offer him some assistance in his Diocese of Krishnagar. It is possible that his coming from Texas strengthened the bond between us.

Among other things that I recall in our association over the years was the morning some years ago when my devoted executive assistant, Mr. Edward M. Kinney and myself arrived in Bombay at an early hour in the morning, shortly after the sun had risen. Who was sitting in the airport waiting to greet us but our dear friend Bishop Morrow! I can recall it almost as if it had happened yesterday. As we drove from the airport into the city there were homeless men and women rising up from the fields, cleansing themselves in nearby streams. It touched all of us very deeply and impressed me over and over again how devoted bishops and priests like Bishop Morrow were laboring for the comfort and welfare of these poor, deprived people.

It was not surprising to me as the years went on that Bishop Morrow brought into existence the Order of the Sisters of Mary immaculate. ... I also know of his dream to erect a Shrine to Our lady of Guadalupe as an attribute of the love he had for the beloved Mother of our Saviour as a boy, a seminarian and priest in Mexico. ...

Remedios Peralta Crisostomo
Spiritual Child and Secretary of Bishop Morrow in the Philippines.

Father Bishop has always impressed people with his smiling countenance and happy nature. They love to talk with him and listen to his jokes. His happy disposition was again revealed in his last counsel to my dying sister Charito when he returned to the Philippines in September, 1940. He was now a newly consecrated bishop.

He offered Mass in our house -- and when my sister was dying he was at her bedside to bless and help her in her last moments on earth. Therese were his parting words to her, which I head so distinctly and seem to be hearing up to this date: “Charito, go to Jesus smiling.”

My sister smiled, and breathed her last, smiling. Even in her coffin, she retained her smile. One of my aunties, who was so afraid to see dead people, was able to look at Charito because she seemed so alive with her smile.

Mr. Lilamoy Mukherjee
Advocate, Krishnagar, West Bengal.

When a small boy, I very often accompanied the late Sudhir Chandra Mullick, Chairman of Krishnagar Municipality, on his visits to His Excellency, Bishop Morrow. On one such occasion I addressed Mr. Mullick as “Chairman Dadu.” The Bishop was curious about the mode of address.

Mr. Mullick pointed out that as I had a long list of ‘dadus’ he had to be particularized thus. The Bishop graciously smiled, patted me, and requested me in Bengali to call him “Bishop Dadu”.

Thirty-five years [1981] have elapsed since then. There have been changes all around, but the love my Bishop Dadu bears has not changed a bit. He still calls me by my pet name ‘Badol’ and I call him ‘my Bishop Dadu’.

Joe Sagat
Staff at My Mission House, Bishop Morrow’s Publications, Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA.

“I admired the Bishop’s Christian spirit, and I realized that he was ahead of the many reforms of Vatican Council II.”

Sister Therese of the Holy Family, ocd
A spiritual child of Bishop Morrow, Carmelite Monastery, Laoag City, Philippines. (1981)

It was at St. Theresa’s College annual retreat way back in 1931 that Father Bishop came into my life. He was then the well-known Rev. Fr. Louis LaRavoire Morrow, secretary to the most Rev. William Piani, Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines. Fifty years have gone since those youthful days when I was only seventeen.

Yes! Fifty years have swiftly rolled away, but our father-and-child relationship has not been altered in the least by the time and distance which separated us. On the contrary, as life’s journey now seems closer to its end for both of us, our spiritual ties have become so intensified that it can no longer be fathomed. Words are too inadequate to express and tell how our lives have been knit together -- he, in his busy apostolic, missionary work, and I, in my quiet, solitary “cell” in Carmel.

Fifty long years, where we went unswervingly, ever growing, ever deepening in the love of God and his people! As the years passed by, his dauntless faith, his unperturbed hope, his ardent zeal, his untiring energy and complete self-giving flowed into and permeated my very soul in my contemplative life. A constant communion of spirits prevailed in the course of these yeas when joys and sorrows, aspirations and separations, failures and successes, disappointments and accomplishments were carefully intermingled by our Father’s Diving Hand.

The Eucharistic King, Father Bishop’s supreme ideal and his Episcopal undying motto: ‘AD JESUM PER MARIAM’ was undoubtly the secret which bound us together!

Mr. Satya Prasad Mitra
Retired teacher, Don Bosco School, Krishnagar, w. Bengal (1981)

In the noble person of our good Bishop Louis L.R. Morrow, Krishnagar is fortunate to have a true gem. ... He has offered his life as a sacrifice on the altar of philanthropy -- for which he expects nothing in return. Self-abnegation for the interests of others is his motto in materially as well as righteously, using these combined ladders to elevate himself above the ordinary, so as to be better able to serve God and his people.

To us he is the Polestar! He has built shelters for many, but the very old roof of his own bedroom was damaged at one time during a rainstorm -- so he passed hours under his umbrella! His boundless philanthropic acts lead us along the way to love all -- even the darkest antagonist!

The local Bagadanga as the name indicates was once the abode of wild beasts. Now through the Bishop’s efforts it has become one of the most productive parts of the town. Don Bosco School with its character-building projects of teaching academic subjects and love of Scriptures reduces the surge of animality. Humankind needs bread for both the body and spirit. The Technical School trains the young to earn bread nobly, thus elevating the social standard of the area. The various sections: tailoring, carpentry, agriculture, machine and iron-work training give valuable opportunities to many. Some young men trained here are now respected and prosperous technicians in our country.

Bishop Morrow is a scholar and prolific author. ... He deals with his subjects clearly and briefly -- his explanations mean more than meet the eye. His composition is marked notable with simplicity, elegance, and sweetness that lay people as well religious can easily absorb. ... He is our Shahjahan, our builder of schools, workshops, hospitals and dispensaries, his Cathedral and theatre hall, village chapels, and the motherhouse and other houses of his Sisters of Mary Immaculate. These are the products of his creative personality. Even the town waterworks, sections of the asphalt roads, the X-ray machine owe their origin to his efforts to better the state of our town, and the welfare of our people. The list would be too long were we to mention all of his noble philanthropic constructive deeds. We humbly bow to his magnanimous personality! ...

Mr. John Varickamthotty
Retired Head Master, Gov. School, Manjoor, Kerala, India (1973).

Bishop Morrow of Krishnagar is a world famous catechist, and a great lover of humanity. The devotion, love and reverence of the people of all castes in Krishnagar, towards this paragon of Christian love and humility is unlimited. He is the dearest father of the poor. Several people in my place, including myself, had the opportunity of experiencing his profound humility and fatherly love.

Some years ago, the All-India Bishops’ Conference was held at Ernakulam, in which Bishop Morrow too had come to participate. ... On the last day of the conference, returning from an outing by 7:00 p.m., he retired to his room on the third floor of Lisie Hospital where he was accommodated.

Shortly, I knocked at his door and heard the reply from within “Come in”. When I opened the door, he came forward welcoming me. His whole countenance radiated a sweet smile. Before that aged holy Father, I knelt according our local custom to kiss his hand. Not only did he disagree to it, but with fatherly love and affection, raised me from my knees, embracing me. Only after leading me to a chair and seating me did he begin the conversation. His smile, affectionate words, and humble attitude were such that would stamp an unfading impression upon the hearts of all those who visited him. After the conversation, before taking leave, I tried once again to kiss his ring, kneeling before him. But before that he had already offered his loving kiss on the palm of my hand. Heavenly was that kiss!

The more that Father lowered himself the more devotion and respect I felt towards him. He made me understand that for the sake of Christ, we must love and respect our brothers and sisters by humbling ourselves, and that too without preaching a single word. When I bade farewell, he came down with me. Once again embraced me and gave me his fatherly blessings. One who practices such love and humility of Christ in one’s life will be able to conquer human hearts.

© 2010 Catechist Sisters of Mary Immaculate Help of Christians
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