Spiritual renewal, reconciliation and fraternity in Bangladesh

Fasting during Lent is not just about abstention from food but also about abstaining from weaknesses
Spiritual renewal, reconciliation and fraternity in Bangladesh

A scene from Jishu Nila, a folk-religious play on the life, suffering and death of Jesus, staged by a Catholic group in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka in 2017. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

On the first Tuesday of Lent, about 200 Catholic villagers — children, adults and the elderly — gathered in the yard of a Catholic family in Choto Satanipara, one of six villages under Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rangmatia of Gazipur district in central Bangladesh.

From morning to afternoon, the faithful had special prayers, life sharing from elders, Way of the Cross, Mass, a special talk from the parish priest and a fraternal meal with rice, vegetables and lentils before heading back to their homes.

Nearly half of the village’s 400 Catholics are non-residents who live in cities, mostly in capital Dhaka about 50 kilometers away, for reasons such as jobs and education.

The spiritual and social gathering on March 3 was part of a special village-based program during the Catholic Church’s Lenten season, introduced by Dhaka Archdiocese about a decade ago.

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