02/17/2014, 00.00
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Bangladeshi Catholics celebrate the 50th anniversary of the minor seminary of Dinajpur

by Sumon Corraya
The St Joseph Seminary in Kosba is one of the oldest in the country. Archbishop Costa describes it as a "power generator". Many priests and lay people studied at the facility.

Dinajpur (AsiaNews) - Mgr Moses M Costa, bishop of the Diocese of Chittagong, described the minor seminary of St Joseph in Kosba (Dinajpur), one of the oldest in Bangladesh, as a "power generator".

Last Friday, more than a thousand people, including 55 priests, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its opening. Fr Livio Prete, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) serves as its current rector.

"This seminary trained and continues to train thousands of Christian leaders in the community," said in his homily Mgr Costa, who is a past bishop of the Diocese of Dinajpur. "Some became priests - others now serve the country and the Catholic Church as lay people."

One of them is William Atul Kuluntunu. "The seminary of St Joseph," he told AsiaNews, "was my old home, where I studied and lived. It helped me to succeed in my life." Today Kuluntunu is a government official in Dhaka.

Last Friday, the faithful, priests and seminarians from the diocese spent the day celebrating the 50th anniversary. After Mass, those present took part in cultural activities, followed by lunch.

Christianity arrived in ​​Dinjapur for the first time in the 17th century with Spanish Carmelites.

PIME missionaries became active in the region in 1855. The region became a full-fledged diocese in 1927 with Mgr Santino Taveggia (PIME) as its first bishop.

Even today, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions is very active in the area.

The diocese is home to about 16 million people, including more than 40,000 Catholics.

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