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Jesuits unveil their new Bangladesh mission

Updated: May 03, 2010 08:57 AM GMT
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Archbishop Costa of Dhaka opens the new Jesuit center
Archbishop Costa of Dhaka opens the new Jesuit center
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GAZIPUR, Bangladesh (UCAN) -- A new Jesuit mission north of Dhaka has been hailed as a boon to the local Church. The national headquarters and formation center of the Society of Jesus will immensely contribute to the spiritual growth and development, Church leaders say. “This center will preach the spirituality and idealism of St. Ignatius of Loyola in the country,” said Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka archdiocese on May 1. The center will assist youths who have gone astray and and troubled couples as well as hosting inter-religious seminars. Archbishop Costa presided at a Mass during the inauguration ceremony for the newly built Nobojoyti Niketon (Home of New Light) at Mathbari parish of Kaligonj sub-district of Gazipur, about 50 kilometers northeast of Dhaka. About 400 Catholics including 10 priests attended the opening ceremony of the six-story building. “This center will conduct conferences and retreats for priests and religious in the country and abroad. I think it will significantly help the Church grow more, spiritually,” the Dhaka prelate said. Until now, the Bangladesh Jesuits have been based in a rented building in Dhaka. “This is a very important move from the society. It was a call from the Catholic Bishops and particularly from the archdiocese. The society responded to the call to help the local Church grow more spiritually” said Indian Jesuit Father Srijon. The priest, an expert on Baul Music (Traditional and Mystic Folk Songs), told UCA News that he will work at the center to perform and train people on his musical skills as way to preach the Gospel. The center will also be a consultation center for people from all religions and a formation house for religious life candidates. “There is no specialized consultation center where people can come free of cost and benefit. We hope it will also enhance vocation among local Catholic youths,” said Father George Patteri, superior of Jesuits’ Calcutta province. Father Aelred Gomes, superior of local Jesuits, told the gathering, “Opening this house was a long cherished dream for us. It’s open for all and you can come here anytime.” Holy Cross Father Subroto Tolentino, current pastor of St. Augustine of Hippo Church in Mathbari lauded Jesuits’ interventions in his parish. “I wonder if there is more beautiful building than it in the whole sub-district,” the priest said. Some Catholics told UCA News that this center has given them new hope. “I’m very hopeful that more young people will be encouraged to join priesthood from now on. Besides, local Catholics will be able come and pray for their spiritual solace,” local Catholic housewife Margaret Gomes said. BA09600/1600 May 3, 2010 43 EM-lines (428 words) Popular Marian shrine opens new church Church starts canonization process for Canadian missioner

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