Pope John Paul II takes traditional Rickshaw ride during his Nov. 19-20 visit to Bangladesh in 1986
Catholics across the country have commemorated the virtuous life of Pope John Paul II by offering prayers during Holy Mass on the 6th anniversary of his death. Parishioners at Holy Rosary Church in Dhaka, the largest Catholic parish in Bangladesh, attended Mass on April 2 to reflect upon his life and work. “We invited people to become good Christians by following his virtuous life,” said Father Gabriel Corraya, the parish priest. Meanwhile, about 300 Catholics attended a special Holy Mass and Eucharistic adoration to honor the former Pope at Good Shepherd Cathedral in Rajshahi diocese. Diocesan chancellor Father Patrick Gomes said: “We shared about his virtues and about his visit to Bangladesh, which helped boost the local Church.” The late Pope loved the Church in Asia and the Church in Bangladesh also bears the legacy of his remarkable papacy, Father Gomes said. “He was always concerned about the poor and minority Christians in Asia, so he visited many Asian countries,” he said. During an Ad Limina meeting with Asian bishops he called the Bangladesh Church a ‘living Church’,” he added. Catholics at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Mymensingh diocese and St. Francis Xavier cathedral in Dinajpur diocese also honored the former Pope with prayers. “He loved young people and appointed young priests as bishops. He knew that young people could meet the challenges of the modern age,” said Thomas Costa, 60, a Catholic development officer and NGO consultant. One of the most amazing things about the late Pope was the way he reached out to other religions. “Pope John Paul II developed interreligious relationships greatly. He talked with leaders of other faiths and met many people of other faiths during religious festivals,” Oblate Bishop Bejoy D’Cruze of Khulna said. “He believed dialogue was the key in respecting other religions and religious tolerance. Various Asian countries as well as Bangladesh have better inter-faith relations thanks to Pope John Paul II,” added Bishop D’Cruze, chairman of Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue in Bangladesh. Pope John Paul II is scheduled to be beatified during a Mass in St Peter's Square led by his successor Pope Benedict XVI. BA13837.1648
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