Catholics in Naogaon remember Saint John Vianney
by Sumon Corraya

Parishes celebrated a special Holy Mass. For Fr Belisario, PIME missionary, Catholics must follow “his ideal life”. The saint transformed people's lives with his simplicity. He is a source of inspiration for priests and nuns who take care of the faithful and orphans in Bangladesh.

Naogaon (AsiaNews) – Bangladeshi Catholics, both clergy and laypersons, yesterday marked the feast day of Saint John Vianney, the patron saint of diocesan priests. For the occasion, a special Holy Mass was celebrated in all the parishes of the country.

During the service, the faithful and priests highlighted the saint’s virtues, said Father Belisario Ciro Montoya, speaking to AsiaNews.

The clergyman, who is associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), serves in the parish of Chandpukur, Naogaon (Diocese of Rajshahi).

In his address during the liturgy, the Colombian-born missionary urged Catholics to follow the saint’s ideal life.

Saint John Vianney (Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney) was born on 8 May 1786 in France. He is famous for his priestly and pastoral work in the parish of Ars. 

During his 41 years of service in his community, he helped transform the lives of many people through his holy and simple existence.

Although he was not very talented, his spiritual power profoundly touched the faithful.

In his sermon, Fr Belisario said that Saint John Vianney was a humble priest and that God chose him for his Kingdom: “He is the ideal of all priests.”

The 36-year-old PIME missionary has served in Bangladesh for the past five years. When he visited his native Colombia for the holidays, his relatives asked him what missionary life is like.

The priest told them that he was happy. “We, priests and nuns, take care of our faithful and orphans as if we were their parents. As parish priests, we solve many problems such as disputes over land and family problems.”

In addition to Chandpukur, other parishes paid homage to diocesan priests and respectfully highlighted the virtues of Saint John Vianney. 

“As a priest, the saint visited the homes of the faithful, inspiring them to participate in the Mass. Following his example, we could make all parishes like Ars", said Fr Dilip S. Costa, parish priest in Kalimnagar.

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