ACN Success Story: Bangladesh

A presbytery for a new parish

Dinajpur is one of the poorest of the eight Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh. Like elsewhere in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, Catholics represent only a tiny minority of the population and also belong to ethnic minorities.

Thus, most of the faithful are doubly disadvantaged: both on account of their Christian faith and because of their ethnic background. They face discrimination and are often victims of physical violence as well. The Church is alone in caring for them and helping them to live a life of dignity. These people, who prioritize their Catholic faith, play an active part in the life of the Church.

As a result of the parishioners’ fervor, the parish of Christ the King in Nijpara will soon be split into two. The current sub-parish, based in Singra, will become an independent parish, along with the 20 villages belonging to it. It will have two or three priests ministering to the faithful. The one major challenge: where would these priests be housed and where would the essential activities of the parish take place?

The generosity of our benefactors who donated $45,000 led to a presbytery and parish centre being built. Bishop Sebastian Tudu consecrated the building this past Easter in the presence of a throng of priests, religious and Catholic faithful. It was a real festival and there was great rejoicing everywhere. Now Father Peter Soreng, the new parish priest, wrote: “It is wonderful that the parish now has the possibility of being ministered to from this centre. The entire Christian community is grateful to you and is praying for you all.”

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