A young Garo missionary goes to Uruguay for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate
by Sumon Corraya

Fr Lintu, 34, will live his ministry in the Diocese of San José. “Christians are just 0.4 per cent of the population, but we still leave to go abroad as missionaries” to bear “witness to the faith,” he noted.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Bangladesh’s small Catholic community has gifted the mission in Uruguay a young, Fr Lintu Areng, a 34-year-old member of the Oblate missionaries of Mary Immaculate. His superior general is sending him to the Diocese of San José, Uruguay.

An ethnic Garo, he discovered his religious vocation in the family. His father worked for the Border Guards Bangladesh while his mother was a homemaker.

“My mother was a member of the Baptist Church,” he said speaking to AsiaNews before leaving Dhaka for Uruguay. “After her marriage, she became a devout Catholic.”

He explained: “Although my mother’s background was Protestant, she loved the rosary prayer” and “inspired me to be a priest”.

Outreach by some Oblate priests in his parish in Mugaipar, Sunamganj, proved decisive in his setting his path. “I was inspired by Fr Dilip Sarkar who was my parish priest,” he noted.

After his ordination on 20 January 2020 in Italy, where he also studied Spanish, Fr Lintu served as parish vicar in the Diocese of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.

Now the young Garo will become the fourth priest to leave Bangladesh for the mission organised by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which currently has 29 priests in Bangladesh.

“In our country, Christians are just 0.4 per cent of the population, but we still leave to go abroad as missionaries,” he said.

“Coming from a multicultural background, I will be a witness to the faith in Uruguay and spiritually take care of people. I take it as a challenge for my life and I will use my talent appropriately,” he added.

In addition to Fr Lintu, Fr Arun Rozario is the personal secretary of the superior general, while Oblate Frs Shitol Nokrek and Sobuj Simsang are missionaries in South Korea. Another young priest will soon leave Bangladesh for Germany as a missionary.