Shanti Rani Sisters have a brand-new mother house in Dinajpur
by Sumon Corraya

Founded 70 years ago by PIME missionaries, the congregation is the second largest in Bangladesh with 34 houses.

Dinajpur (AsiaNews) – The Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Angels, known in Bangladesh as the Shanti Rani Sisters, have inaugurated their new mother house in Kosba, Dinajpur district.

The ceremony was held last Friday, at the start of the missionary month, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, Mgr George Kocherry, and Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur.

The Shanti Rani Sisters are a local product of the PIME mission. They were founded in 1951 by Bishop Giuseppe Obert and Fr Francesco Ghezzi, with mother Enrichetta Motta as the first educator.

Today they are the second largest female religious family in Bangladesh, with 165 nuns involved in the apostolate in 34 different convents.

They bear witness to the Gospel by serving in hospitals, dispensaries, schools, youth hostels, centres for the disabled, while engaging in multifaceted cooperation with local dioceses.

Six sisters are carrying out their missionary ministry in Italy as well.

The old mother house, built 70 years ago, “was weak and shaky,” said Superior General Sister Rebecca Kispotta, speaking to AsiaNews. “There were cracks. When big vehicles passed, the building shook.”

 “The new building is a blessing for us. Now we can live in peace without anxiety,” Sister Rebecca, an ethnic Oraon (Kurukh), said. The new two-storey building "will be our new engine,” she added.

The superior general also thanked the German branch of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, the Milan-based PIME Foundation, Caritas Dinajpur, and many other friends for financially supporting the new building.

The Sisters, in their own way, contributed to the new house. "All together with the grace of God, we made possible this dream that seemed impossible,” Sister Rebecca said.

PIME’s regional superior in Bangladesh, Fr Michele Brambilla, sent a message to the Sisters to congratulate them for their new home.

“We have been collaborating for many years in various institutions such as parishes, hostels, schools, dispensaries and hospitals. This collaboration has as its centre serving others in the name of Jesus,” Fr Brambilla writes.

“The mother house is a special place for all the members of a congregation in which each can always find someone to welcome her,” a “place to go to rest after an intense period of apostolic work among the people”.

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