The training facility for seminarians has 82 young people engaged in discernment. The Holy Cross congregation arrived in Bangladesh in 1953 before independence. The first missionaries came from Europe, the United States and Canada.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – After years in which Western countries sent missionaries to Bangladesh, now the Holy Cross congregation is "ready to send the first Bangladeshi missionaries abroad".
Brother Chayan Victor Corraya, 36, director of Pabitra Krush Prarti Griha, the Holy Cross seminarian training institute, spoke to AsiaNews about it.
“We have already discussed it with Card Patrick D’Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka, who wants us to go abroad as missionaries. For our part there are no obstacles, we are ready," he said.
The Holy Cross missionaries arrived in Bangladesh in 1953 before independence, mostly from Europe, the United States and Canada. Today, in the South Asian country, the congregation has 107 members, all Bangladeshi, serving in 23 schools, one university, four hostels, two technical schools and a monastery.
“We are happy with our brothers’ religious vocations,” says Brother Corraya who has led the training institute for seven years. “Every year 14 to 16 young people come to the house as aspirants and at least six become seminarians. That’s really a lot for us.”
In Bangladesh, a Muslim majority country of more than 160 million people, Christians represent only 0.4 per cent of the population.
For the Brother, "In the past we received missionaries from abroad. Now it's time for us to provide the same service. This is why we would like to send our missionaries across Asia.”
At present, 82 aspirants are in the process of discernment. Some come from the area of Athoragram, “a wealthy area, where families have a good job and often only one child, on which falls the burden of the family,” the Brother notes.
“Compared to the rest of the country, people here are richer and follow Western fashions. Some family members live abroad and many parents are separated. The use of social media and the Internet is widespread among young people.
“When they come to the seminary, cell phones are banned. After a short time, some understand they can't make it and go home.”
Ultimately, Brother Corraya believes that “religious education begins in the family. If in the evening the Rosary is not recited and no prayers are said, I believe the children of those families remain distant from religious life. To serve God, parents must pray the Rosary every night at home.”