Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in Bangladesh celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of the dicastery of "Propaganda Fide" (1622-2022) and the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) (1822-2022), gratefully acknowledging the contribution received from the Holy See and the PMS to the history of evangelization in the Indian subcontinent and in the life of the Catholic Church in Bangladesh.
According to information from Agenzia Fides, the celebration took place recently in the diocese of Mymensingh, organized by the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and the National Direction of the PMS in Bangladesh, and was attended by priests, religious and laity. Fr. Rodon Hadima, National Director of the PMS, told Fides: "With the celebration we intend to express our gratitude to Saint Pauline-Marie Jaricot, foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, beatified last May. We hope that her society will be better known in our nation".
The eight Catholic dioceses of Bangladesh are planning an event to celebrate the jubilee, and then, at the national level, in the city of Dhaka, the PMS will animate a national celebration "to make known and involve religious, priests and laity in the life of the PMS", continues Fr. Hadima, who is also Vice-Rector of the Holy Spirit Major Seminary, located in Dhaka. The Bangladeshi faithful, recalls the director, offer donations for the PMS three times a year: on Children's Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and Mission Sunday.
With the donations collected, the PMS support activities such as the construction of churches, and ways of proclaiming the Message of God, according to the different needs of the local churches. Fr. Hadima hopes that, with these celebrations, the faithful of Bangladesh will be more active and feel fully involved, as baptized, in the missionary work of the Church. "During the Jubilee - the National Director of the PMS points out - we encourage Catholics to pray, since prayer is the key instrument. We pray for missionaries, we pray for the growth of priestly and religious vocations, we pray for children and with the children, who are the leaders and missionaries of tomorrow. Among those present at the event, Peter Rema, a Catholic from Mymensingh, told Agenzia Fides: "Pauline-Marie Jaricot showed us the way. Now it's our turn. I will contribute to the mission of the Church with prayer, with offerings, starting with my family". "With these jubilee celebrations", Father Hadima concludes, "we promote the missionary spirit in the People of God, to deepen missionary awareness, provide missionary formation, encourage missionary cooperation in the work of evangelization". (FC) (Agenzia Fides, 25/7/2022)