01/20/2020, 17.52
BANGLADESH
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Youth at national Catholic gathering in Chattogram see themselves as ‘instruments of God’

by Sumon Corraya

More than 400 youth attended the 35th National Youth Day. One student from Rajshahi said that she understands that her “life is a gift from God. It is to serve others, not myself.” University vice rector was quite impressed by the meeting. For her, young Christians can “grow through higher education.” She told young people “If you want to reach the highest positions in administration, you must prepare yourself by studying.”

Chattogram (AsiaNews) – The 35th National Youth Day attracted some 400 young people from across Bangladesh. The event was held on 15-18 January at the Mariam Ashram in Diang, Diocese of Chattogram. Its theme was ‘Young man, I tell you, arise!’. (Luke 7:14)

Milisha Anna Gomes, 21, from the Diocese of Rajshahi, was one of them. Thanks to the experience, she now realises that her life is a gift of God to serve the Church and society in Bangladesh.

This role “is right for us,” Milisha said. “I think, Jesus Christ calls the youth of today to awake. We are too concerned with worldly matters. We don’t pray, we don’t spend time with parents and friends. [Instead,] Our inner self must arise. I am grateful to the organisers who enabled me to understand this.”

Now the young woman is committed to developing herself to "serve the Church and society. I understand that my life is a gift from God. It is to serve others, not myself. I would like to work in public administration so that I can serve people of all faiths.”

She is not alone in the feeling of awakening. Rumon Tirke, a 20-year-old university student from the Diocese of Dinajpur, sees himself “as a new man.”

At the meeting, “I learnt many things about marriage and consecrated life, the Bible and the Christian faith,” he said. “Speakers encouraged us to be more active in the Church. They made us feel part of the Christian community. Now it is up to us to do our best for the Church as God's people.”

Shireen Akhter, vice rector of the University of Chittagong, was the guest of honour. "I was really impressed with how it was organised,” she said admiringly. “Young Christians can learn a lot.”

“In Bangladesh, the Christian community is tiny, but its contribution is great,” she explained. “I want to tell young Christians to grow through higher education. If you want to reach the highest positions in administration, you must prepare yourself by studying.”

Bishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader of Barisal chairs the Episcopal Commission for Youth (ECY). In his view, “Young people want to stay awake, not sleep; they want to enjoy new friendships.” But “They can also do outstanding work with older people. I urge them to be ready to serve. They are the present and future of the Church.”

“We taught the values ​​of the Catholic Church and the Bible,” said ECY secretary Brother Ujjal Placed Pereira. The gathering “was both a celebration and a pilgrimage. Young people came from all over the country: they prayed, they sang, they danced together. They spoke of God. We hope that this year’s programme will be fruitful to them.”

National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
National Youth Day 2020 in Bangladesh
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