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Pope Francis has erected the new Diocese of Barisal

NEW DIOCESE OF BARISAL AND APPOINTMENT OF THE FIRST BISHOP

His Holiness Pope Francis has erected the new Diocese of Barisal, dividing the Diocese of Chittagong and making it the suffragan of the Archdiocese of Dhaka. The Supreme Pontiff has appointed His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Lawrence Subroto Howlader, CSC as the first Bishop of the newly created diocese, transferring him from the titular Bishop of Afufenia and Auxiliary Bishop of Chittagong.

The news has been simultaneously released today Tuesday 29th December 2015 in the Vatican as well as in Bangladesh. I made the official announcement during the celebration of the Holy Mass in the Cathedral of Chittagong.

Vatican Embassy in Dhaka

(Apostolic Nunciature)

29th December 2015

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Priestly Ordination in the Chittagong Catholic Diocese

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Mr. Joachim Manna Bala
28 November, 2015
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Rev. Germain Sonchoy Gmoes, Rev. Clarence Palash Halder and Rev. Sajal Anthony Costa are ordained as Priests by the Bishop of Chittagong Catholic Diocese Most Rev. Moses M. Costa, CSC on the 27th November 2015 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Gournadi, Barisal. Presbyters of the Diocese, some guest priests (36 in total); one Deacon and thousands of Catholics were present in the Ordination Solemn Eucharist. Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC was also present.

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The Deacons are received in the Gournadi Parish on the previous day at 5.30 pm with traditional welcoming ceremony called “Boron Onusthan.” A good numbers of faithful participated in it. Then after, all took part in the Eucharistic Adoration.

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Newly ordained priest Father Germain Sonchoy Gmoes is from Padrishibpur. He is the son of Late. Albarich Cabot Gomes and Margaret Cynthia Gomes. He is born in 27 May 1984 and entered into major seminary, Banani in 2008.

Father Clarence Palash Halder is from Patihar, sub center of Gournadi Parish. He is the son of Late. Martin Bikramaditto Halder and Depali Halder. He is born in 13 May 1982 and entered into major seminary, Banani in 2008.

Father Sajal Anthony Costa is from Toomilia. He is the son of Profullo Costa and Parul Costa. He is born in 14 January 1980 and entered into major seminary, Banani in 2006.

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All of them are ordained as deacons on 29th May 2015 at Holy Spirit Major Seminary, Banani, Dhaka. Germain Sonchoy Gmoes made his deaconate ministry in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Gournadi. Clarence Palash Halder made his deaconate ministry in the St. Teresa Church, Narikelbari, Gopalganj and Sajal Anthony Costa in the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Chittagong.

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On the following Day newly ordained Priest Clarence Palash Halder has celebrated the thanksgiving mass in his home village Patihar, sub center of Gournadi Parish. Fr. Sajal Anthony Costa will celebrate the thanksgiving mass on 29th November 2015 in Toomilia Parish and Fr. Germain Sonchoy Gmoes will celebrate the thanksgiving mass on 4th December 2015 in Padrishibpur.

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Jubilee of Mercy: The countdown

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Source: Vatican Radio
November 30, 2015
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It’s just over a week until the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy when Pope Francis will open the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica.

This extraordinary year was kick-started on Sunday when the Holy Father opened the Holy Door in Bangui on his visit to the Central African Republic.

One of the unique ideas of this Jubilee is that, for the first time Holy Doors will be opened in every diocese throughout the world, located for the most part in a Cathedral.

So what else can we expect from this great event in the life of the Church?

In this, the first of a four part interview taking us through key aspects of the Jubilee Year, Fr Eugene Silva, English language official at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization looks at the Pope’s intentions for this Year of Mercy, the importance of the year for the local Church around the world and the emphasis placed on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization has been charged with organizing the Holy Year of Mercy which officially opens on December 8th and closes Nov 20th2016, the Feast of Christ the King.

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Diocesan Pastoral Assembly 2016 is held in Bandarban

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News Desk
Be-lated Post!
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Bandarban Parish, the mother parish of the hill tracts in the Diocese of Chittagong, witnessed and hosted the biggest event in the diocese of Chittagong within this recent past. It was the Pastoral Assembly of the Chittagong Catholic Diocese for the year of 2016 which held from 27-30 October based on the theme ‘Family- Experiencing the Grace of God’. Total of 144 Participants including priest, religious and laity joined the assembly from all the 16 parishes of the diocese.

The assembly was inaugurated with the celebration of holly mass offered by the Auxiliary of the diocese Most Rev. Bp. Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC on 27th October, 2015. Most Rev. Bp. Moses M. Costa, CSC the ordinary of the diocese while delivering his opening speech said that the Catholic Church is an absolute Church and she is also a divine institution. The very aim of this institution is to build a participatory Church and so, we all have to use the experience of this assembly to stand aside of the poor and take part in the activities of the Church’.

On the following day reports from all the parishes and commissions were presented and discussed in presence of the both bishops. In the evening a historic event took place. 10 Catechists of the diocese who were serving the church for a long time had been honored for their service through a festive ceremony. Certificates, flowers and small gifts were presented as a sign of the gratitude of the church towards them. The names of the 10 catechists are:

  1. Robi Christopher D’Costa, trainer of the diocesan pastoral team and Catechist
  2. Daniel Bala, Narikelbari Parish
  3. Tosarai Tripura, Thanchi
  4. Bharotchandra Tripura, Thanchi
  5. Onbahadur Tripura, Thanchi
  6. Manichandra Tripura, Thanchi
  7. Birendro Tripura, Alikadam
  8. Kapru Tripura, Lama
  9. Johon Tripura, Bolipara &
  10. Emaram Tripura, Bolipara

On the final day Bp. Moses M. Costa, CSC presented paper on the theme through a meditative session. The participants were provided with a handbook containing 07 teachings on the theme prepared by the Bishop. The session made a great impact on the participants to go deep of the theme which helped to take pastoral planning for the upcoming year.

The assembly came to an end with another significant event. Based on the ‘Year of Mercy’ Bandarban Parish was declared as a pilgrim spot. The old church cottage which is selected as the spot was blessed by Bishop Moses Costa, CSC before he opened the door for all to pray personally in this year of mercy.

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Seminar for Youth in Ghorarpar

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Mr. Ruben Dewri
Be-lated Post!
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A Seminar was held in Ghorarpar Parish on 26 Oct 2015 based on the theme: “Jesus is the God” with the Participation of 67 Youths. Parish priest Fr. Mukul Anthony Mandal inaugurated the seminar with his speech followed by a meditative prayer led by Sr. Doli Tripura, LHC.

Fr. Mukul Anthony Mandal discussed on the main theme. He proved through a discussion that the Invisible God of Heaven is our Jesus Christ and the holy blood and body of Christ is that same sacrament through which we become heavenly.”

CHNFP staff of Barisal Caritas, Mrs. Mukta Baroi, talked on family life efficiency & health consciousness of the youth in a very friendly manner.

10 teachings on the theme “Christian Family is the recipient and bearer of the Gospel and Sacred Life” was provided by Sr. Nitu, LHC. She said to the youths, “Know yourself, strengthen your faith and serve your family, society and church according to your ability. Read bible everyday to enrich your faith and be inspired in the divine inspiration.”

Video clip was shown on Heaven & Hell according to Bible and some Action songs were performed to cheer up the participants throughout the seminar. The seminar was organized by the Ghorarpar parish with the help of CHNFP project, Caritas Barisal.

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Maria-Seminar in Lama Parish

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Fr. Bikash Rebeiro, CSC
Be-lated Post!
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A seminar on Family Rosary took place at one of the villages of Lama Parish on May 28-29, 2015. It was a heavy rainy day. After lunch at the parish, Father Somor Dango, OMI (parish priest, Lama) Father Binoy Gomes, CSC (assistant parish priest, Thanchi) and 3 of the LHC sisters from Lama Parish started towards the village. It took four hours to reach that village on foot. The team was cordially welcomed by the villagers. In the evening there a rosary prayer took place with the participation of all the villagers. After that there was also a vajon dance. On the following day, which was Sunday, all the people joined for the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, though the heavy rain continued. After the Mass, the participants (Maria Songha) remained in the church along with some other older male people. Then Father Binoy Gomes, CSC started sharing on Mother Mary and the rosary ministry. He answered the questions of the participants and also showed some pictures of Mother Mary through his mobile. Then some of the participants willingly shared the impact of rosary prayer which took place in their lives. It was nice and encouraging to hear their faith and their life experience. Some of them were also shedding tears during sharing. It showed their deep love for Mother Mary. In between of the sharing, sisters sang Marian song with the participation of all. It was really a lively moment as all were active. After the sharing, Father Somor distributed everyone a blessed rosary and prayer card. There was also blessing of houses. Then everybody joined together for the lunch. All together there were 72 participants. After a thanksgiving ceremony fathers and sister went back to their own parishes.

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Bible Seminar, Organized by Children & Youth Commission

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Mickey Paul Gonsalves
Be-lated Post!
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Chittagong Regional Children & Youth Commission organized a bible seminar on 21st August 2015 in the Cathedral Parish hall room with the participation of 45 youths from Cathedral, Jamalkhan & Diang Parishes. Throughout the seminar participants learnt and experienced the Bible through power-point presentation, games, group-discussion, drama-presentation and lots of fun.

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The seminar began with a usual morning prayer followed by an introductory session on Bible by Mr. Mickey Paul Gonsalves who is the asst. youth coordinator of the Chittagong regional youth commission. In that session he discussed on the meaning, writers and the books of the bible. After the tea break Mr. Manik Wilver D’Costa presented paper on the Gospels with a thorough discussion.

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After the lunch break the 45 participants presented drama on 4 particular incidents from the Gospels dividing in 4 groups. Each of the presentation was very creative and meaningful. This joyful seminar came to an end with a holy mass offered by Fr. Leonard C. Rebeiro.

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Iconoclastic ferocity – Syrian Catholic monastery demolished by IS

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L’Osservatore Romano
21st August 2015
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21 August 2015. Militants of the so-called Islamic State (IS) demolished the Mar Elian Monastery in al-Qaryqatayn, near Homs. The Syrian Catholic monastery had been standing since the 5th century.

Duplicating its usual ruthless propagandist tactics, IS posted a series of images showing the desecration of the church, followed by the exhumation of the relics of St Elian – martyred in 285 by the Romans – and ultimately, the destruction of the historic complex. The monastery, considered one of Syria’s most important Catholic centres, had been rebuilt in various stages over the centuries. Thousands of pilgrims gathered there each year on 9 September, the liturgical feast of the saint. IS is believed responsible for the May 2015 kidnapping of Fr Jacques Mourad, abbot of the monastery, of whom there has since been no clear information.

This latest episode confirms the iconoclastic ferocity of the jihadist group – a ferocity stained with the blood of 81-year-old Khaled al Asaad, who for forty years had headed one of the world’s most evocative archaeological sites, that of Palmyra, Syria. IS decapitated him in front of the museum he had run for decades, then tied his body to a Roman column.

 

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Seminar in Alikadam on the Pastoral Theme

 

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Fr. Dominic Rozario
16th August 2015
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Neglecting the heavy rain, 58 lay people from 20 families of Alikadam parish participated in the Seminar which was organized by the Alikadam Parish on  15th August 2015 based on the theme : “Christian Family: Recipient & Bearer of the Holy Gospel”.

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The seminar began with a short family prayer followed by the welcoming speech of the Parish Priest of Alikadam, Fr. Dominic Rozario, omi. Fr. Ruopk D. Rozario, omi delivered a speech on the main theme. Superior of the Oblate delegation, Fr. Dilip Sarkar, omi shared on the present family situation and the expectation of Catholic Church from the families. A participant who recently experienced a marriage formation program in Mymensingh shared her beautiful experience in an open discussion. This joyful seminar came to end with the Holy Eucharist followed by a festive meal.

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