Natore (AsiaNews) - To become a priest, a nun or a religious means "to become a person with responsibilities towards your community", responsibilities which must be honored beyond any temptation. These were the words of the Bishop of the Dioceseof Rajshahi, Gervas Rozario, Vice President of the Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), during his homily for the ordination of Fr. Uttom John Rozario, of the Borni Mariambad Church of Natore, some 207 km from Dhaka.
In recent years in Bangladesh many priests, religious brothers and nuns have abandoned consecrated life. The Bishops, who are concerned by this trend, last February published a code of conduct in the hope of helping the local clergy to face challenges and be more mature in their vocation.
In his homily, Bishop Rozario issued an appeal to the faithful, asking them to "pray for your pastors and your religious. Help them not to fall into temptation, so that they can conduct their religious life in the best of ways." If a priest becomes a man of prayer, the prelate added, "he will be able to overcome every difficulty. Life in the priesthood is a consecrated life, dedicated to the salvation of believers."
In Bangladesh religious vocations are not lacking, but the number of seminarians and novices is gradually decreasing. At the moment, the country counts about 400 priests, 110 brothers and 1,100 nuns of Bangladeshi nationality. A total of 35 religious congregations are active on the territory, in the service of education, health, development and in the spiritual life of all citizens, not only Catholics.