Success Story: a church and community centre for the parish
The Catholic faithful in the parish of Nayanagar are delighted with their new church and parish centre, which – thanks to the generous help of our benefactors – this project which Catholics have dreamt of for years, and also organized collections for, despite their great poverty has finally been completed! It was not much, of course, but it was like the “widows mite,” as their parish priest writes. With the help of our benefactors, we were able to give a total of $120,800 and so finally enable them to realize their dream.
Sunday Mass sees anywhere from 3,000 and 3,500 people attending, high celebrations and holy days such as Christmas and Easter draw many more and even the weekday Masses are always well attended as well as religious instruction courses and a range of different children‘s and youth groups.
Located right at the heart of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, the parish continues to grow and grow as more people move to the regional capital (already 8 to 9 million inhabitants) from the surrounding rural areas in the hope of finding a better future.
The priests of the not only provide pastoral support for the faithful but also help the new rural migrants to find their feet in the city, ensuring that their children can attend school by providing medical care and supporting them in all their many needs.
In Bangladesh, Catholics represent only a tiny minority in a population that is 90% Muslim. The faithful of the parish of Nayanagar are 80% indigenous, a number that well represents the total Christian presence in Bangladesh who coming from an ethnic minority. It is from this demographic that most of the new vocations come.
Father Ajit Victor Costa, the provincial delegate of the Oblate Fathers, has written to ACN on behalf of his confreres and of the Catholic faithful generally. “We sincerely appreciate the value of your love, your friendship and your warm-hearted kindness. Your prayers, sacrifices and financial support have been an enormous help to us in fulfilling our dream. Through you and together with you we have been deeply touched by the presence of the loving hands of God and your own wonderful generosity. We pray for all your benefactors and for all who have contributed.”