The three-city trip (Sydney, Nowra and Melbourne) lasted from 25 March to 8 April. The first Mass in Bengali was held in St John Mary Vianney Parish.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Card Patrick D’Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka, travelled to Australia where he met several Christian families who emigrated from Bangladesh in search of work. The pastoral visit took place from 25 March to 8 April.
Writing from Singapore airport where he was waiting for his connecting flight to Dhaka, the prelate stressed how exceptional the event was, the “first pastoral visit by a Bangladeshi bishop organised by the Bengali Christian community in three places in Australia.”
The cardinal spent seven days in Sydney, three days in Nowra and finally four days in Melbourne.
In Sydney, the cardinal met 24 families, attended three family gatherings, celebrated Mass in Bengali for 250 Christians at the Rockdale Church.
He also met with 60 officials and workers of Caritas Australia, with whom he discussed the situation of the local Catholic Church and its role in relation to sensitive issues such as Rohingya refugees and climate change.
In Nowra he met with local parishioners, including 13 Indian families, baptised his great- nephew and met five parish priests at St Michael Church.
Finally, in Melbourne, he met "with 80 people” who “made history: a long preparation, long-distance travel, extensive and creative programmes with a Christian spirit, prayers, generosity and unity.”
For the first time, “a Bengali Mass was celebrated at St John Vianney,” a “Sunday Mass with the multicultural community at the parish [church] and a Mass in the Syro-Malabar rite with 600 Malayalis,” i.e. Malayalam speakers originally from Kerala.