Missionary in Bangladesh : Easter with our guardian angel and a guard of soldiers
by p. Michele Brambilla

The PIME regional superior speaks of heightened insecurity following the attack against Fr. Parolari by Islamic radicals. In Dinajpur priests care for patients in a local hospitals and manage land to meet the needs of the entire population. Nationwide 29 priests of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions are in service to the people.

 


Kodbir (AsiaNews) - An Easter caring for the patients of the Dinajpur Medical College and confreres scattered in three dioceses of Bangladesh; but also a festivity under tight security with police monitoring their movements and ensuring the security of religious celebrations. This is the picture painted by Fr. Michele Brambilla, PIME superior (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) in Bangladesh, in his message for Easter sent to all friends.

The missionary speaks of this climate of insecurity in the country following the violence against foreigners and Christian communities. Five months on from the attempted murder of Fr. Piero Parolari by Islamic radicals, priests are still under police escort.

Despite these limitations in movement, says Fr. Brambilla, 29 priests continue to work for the good of the population thanks to the protection of the police and government. Below his message.

Dear friends, greetings from Bangladesh.
We are entering Holy Week, which touches all of us, believers and non-believers, those who live a superficial faith and those who nurture their faith day by day. He who died 2,000 years ago cannot leave anyone indifferent. We are called to give meaning to our lives and for those who seek the truth cannot fail to ask this question: who is He, why did He give His life for all?

This Lent has been very different from the previous: no visits to the villages, catechesis and confessions. The new commissions received by PIME and the dioceses keep me busy elsewhere and I can get to the parish to help the priest who is my assistant only on weekends: Fr. Emanuele Meli for over 40 years in Bangladesh, is leading the pastoral work along with many innovations. I am so happy he agreed to come to Kodbir at the age of 73.

Currently our time is taken up with managing the hospital to understand how we can make it as efficient  as possible in the care it offers and above all in charity. Day after day I am faced with different situations and making decisions about the health of people is never easy. I try as much as I can to visit with some sick people who are our poor Christians who need care but also a few good words ... and not only them. The world of suffering allows us to look to the Cross with particular attention and helps  us rediscover the presence of the One who died and rose again and is close to all of us in particular to those who suffer in body and spirit.

The other big issue is the PIME community, very varied, with many charisms, made up of priests and brothers who share the same choice to follow the One who has called us and serve Him in our brothers near and far.

Not a small community, we are in 29 spread across 3 dioceses, but I try to call them and inquire about their health and activities.

Finally, like last Christmas, this will also be an armored Easter with police stationed where we live and who accompany us on our journeys. I always say, I not only have an invisible guardian angel but also one that I can greet and with whom I can exchange a few words. Pray that even this situation of insecurity can soon return to normal.

To all of you my best wishes for a happy and Holy Easter. A warm embrace to you all.

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