The Catholic faithful in the parish of Nayanagar are delighted with their new church and parish centre which – thanks to the generous help of our benefactors – has now at last been completed. It is something the Catholics here have dreamt of for years, and also organised collections for, despite their great poverty. It was not much, of course, but it was like the „widows mite“, as their parish priest writes. With the help of our benefactors we were able to give a total of 80,000 Euros and so finally enable them to realise their dream.
Sunday Mass sees anywhere between 3000 and 3500 people attending, and on the major high days and holy days such as Christmas and Easter there are many more than this. But even the weekday Masses are always well attended. And at weekends there are religious instruction courses and likewise a range of different children‘s and youth groups.
The parish continues to grow and grow, as more and more people move to the regional capital from the surrounding rural areas in the hope of finding a better future. The priests of the religious congregation the Oblates of the Immaculate Virgin Mary not only provide pastoral support for the faithful, but also help the new rural migrants to find their feet in the city, ensuring that their children can attend school, providing medical care and helping and supporting them in all their many difficulties and necessities. Around 80% of the Catholic faithful in the parish are rural migrants of this kind. And although in Bangladesh as a whole Catholics represent only a tiny minority in a population that is 90% Muslim, there are in fact very many Christians, above all among the ethnic minorities. And it is from this section of the population that most of the new vocations come.
Father Ajit Victor Costa, the provincial delegate of the Oblate Fathers, has written to ACN on behalf of his confreres and of the Catholic faithful generally. „We sincerely appreciate the value of your love, your friendship and your warmhearted kindness. Your prayers, sacrifices and financial support have been an enormous help to us in fulfilling our dream. Through you and together with you we have been deeply touched by the presence of the loving hands of God and your own wonderful generosity. We pray for all your benefactors and for all who have contributed.“
Altogether ACN has contributed 80,000 Euros towards the cost of the buildings.