04/21/2024, 12.53
Send to a friend

Dhaka: 50 years of Bangladesh National Seminary

by Sumon Corraya

On the occasion of the World Day for Vocations, the 50th anniversary of the Major Seminary of the Holy Spirit, which has trained 445 priests as well as numerous religious and lay people, was celebrated. Card. D'Rozario: "A great gift from God and the heart of our local Church in Bangladesh".

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - On 19 April, on the eve of today's World Vocations Day, the Major Seminary of the Holy Spirit of Bonani in Dhaka, the only seminary in Bangladesh, celebrated its 50th anniversary together with the contribution offered by this institution for the construction of the local Church. Over 800 Catholics were present on the day of celebration, including 250 priests and nine bishops.

At the celebrations, presided over by Msgr. Emmanuel K. Rozario, bishop of Barisal and president of the Episcopal Commission for the seminar, were present as main guests Archbishop Kevin S. Randall, apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh and the Archbishop of Dhaka Msgr. Bejoy N. D'Cruze.

The National Seminary of Bangladesh was officially born on 23 August 1973, when the future card. Edward Cassidy, then the Vatican representative in Bangladesh, inaugurated it with a Mass in the cathedral church of Ramna in Dhaka. Initially housed in Mathis House, he began his journey with 6 professors and 5 seminarians. Over the span of 50 years, 987 students were educated at Holy Spirit Seminary and 445 of them were ordained priests, including 9 bishops. Furthermore, 83 consecrated lay people and 11 nuns received their seminary training. A total of 103 professors have contributed directly to the work over these decades.

During the solemn Mass on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the main celebrant, Card. Partick D'Rozario, archbishop emeritus of Dhaka, defined the Holy Spirit Major Seminary as "a great gift of God's grace" and "the heart of the Church of Christ of Bangladesh". Through this institution, Bangladesh is walking as a local Church. “After being trained here,” he said, “the priests, men and women religious of Bangladesh are giving a leadership service in the Church. And you too, students present here, will have to follow the example of the Good Shepherd, bringing upon you the smell of sheep and preparing a synodal Church for yourselves."

Monsignor Emmanuel K. Rozario, bishop of Barisal and president of the Episcopal Commission for the seminary, recalling the contribution offered by this institution, recalled how today Bangladeshi priests “are shepherding the flock entrusted to them at home but also abroad; others are rendering dedicated service in various ways for the building up of the Body of Christ, the Church. For this reason we glorify and praise the Lord and join our hands to walk and work together with renewed commitment for a better formation of our future priests".

Archbishop Bejoy N. D'Cruze, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh, recalled that when there was no such seminary, future priests had to go to West Pakistan or other countries for their training. After the war of liberation, the establishment of the seminary was one of the priorities of the bishops 50 years ago. “He helped to train – he added – not only priests, but also religious and lay people involved in pastoral care”.

On his part, the apostolic nuncio Msgr. Randall emphasized that in a seminary “training is not just about reading books, but also about how to put what you have learned into practice and how to carry out pastoral ministry in the name of the Lord, not in our own. A task that requires an open heart and personal testimony, despite our fragilities."

Even Shymol Gomes, today a layman and banker, wanted to publicly express his brotherhood at the National Seminary of Bangladesh. “I had the opportunity to study here,” he said. And even if I didn't manage to become a priest, I was successful in my family and professional life thanks to the quality training I received here."


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”