Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi hands over a key to Father James C. Cruze, provincial of Holy Cross Fathers in Bangladesh to symbolize the handing over of St. Francis Xavier’s Catholic Church in Foilzana, Pabna district on July 30. (Photo from Facebook page of Bishop Gervas Rozario)
The Holy Cross Congregation, the largest religious order in Bangladesh is to begin work in northern Rajshahi Diocese.
Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi handed over St. Francis Xavier’s Church at Foilzana in Pabna district to Father James C. Cruze, provincial of the Holy Cross Fathers after Sunday Mass on July 30. The parish has about 1,500 Catholics.
"The diocese has a shortage of priests and lacks funds to operate schools, so we thought Holy Cross could use their missionary skills to help us," Bishop Rozario told ucanews.com.
By starting the new mission Holy Cross now has a presence in all of the country’s eight Catholic dioceses.
"Bishop invited us to work in the diocese nine years ago. After years of planning and preparation, we are ready to set off on the new mission," Father Cruze told ucanews.com.
The congregation has a "special plan" for development in the area, the priest said.
Currently Holy Cross has 70 priests, 99 brothers and 100 nuns — local and foreign — working in various capacities in Bangladesh.