A three-year youth programme for the diocese of Mymensingh
Like everywhere else in Bangladesh, Catholics in the Diocese of Mymensingh represent no more than a tiny minority of the population. In fact, there are just 83,000 Catholics among the 19 million or so who live within the territory of the diocese. Most of these belong to the Garo ethnic group, who live predominantly along the frontier region with India.
Ever since it was first established in 1987, the diocese has prioritised the work of strengthening young people in their faith. Bible classes, catechesis, social teachings of the Church – all of these things are important in providing a solid ethical and religious foundation to those who will be the ones to build up the future of the Church in this overwhelmingly Muslim country. “The faith has to be nourished,” says Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi. Similar to other places in the world, the harmful influences young people are exposed to here are very strong. Thus, it is important to impart Gospel teachings and values to help guard them against such influences.
A Bible camp to fall in love with Scripture
All in all, the level of education is low, and the ethnic minorities generally tend to live in underdeveloped regions. It is here that the Church is especially committed to helping these young people, not only in their personal growth, but in their faith journey as well, in preparation for the responsibilities they may take on in the Church and in society.
With help from ACN, the Diocese of Mymensingh is planning to introduce a three-year religious formation program for young people in all of its 18 parishes. It will include retreat days involving prayer, discussions, games, teambuilding activities, as well as a type of Bible camp – a summer camp with Bible study sessions, so that young people with little knowledge of the Bible can learn to love the Scriptures in a fun, social environment. In addition, there will be religious instruction, prayer, worship, and other events aimed at deepening and strengthening the religious life of the young people involved.
Needless to say, the Church in this region lacks the necessary resources and needs our help. We therefore wish to support them with a contribution of $19,950 for this three-year program.