Bonpara (AsiaNews) - At least 2,500 members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church in Bonpara (Diocese of Rajshahi) celebrated Fr Dino Giacominelli's 25 years of priesthood.
For the 53-year-old member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), this is a milestone. The same is true for Bonpara. In fact, after serving the community for 23 years, the missionary is set to move to another parish at the end of 2014.
"My blood is made of the blood of the Church of Bonpara," the priest told the faithful gathered to celebrate his anniversary. "I love these people and I offer to the Almighty all the sufferings and successes experienced in recent years."
In Bonpara Parish, Fr Dino built a church, a seminary, a school, a dispensary and a road. Yet, he never encouraged charity works. He always tried to teach local people how to be self-sustaining. One of his priorities was training young people, particularly those most in need.
"The first time I met him, he was nice to me right away," said Kiron Corraya, one of the parishioners. "When I had problems, he was an attentive and caring listener. Many think he is strict and are afraid of him, but he has a good heart. "
"Without him, Bonpara Parish would be weaker," said Sajib. "Here among us, he will always be remembered as a great missionary."
PIME missionaries have been in Bangladesh since 1850. Their work is mostly in education, but they have also contributed to the building of churches, Catholic schools and roads.