03/26/2018, 12.57
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Missionary: At Easter, the mystery of suffering that unites everyone

by Michele Brambilla

Fr Michele Brambilla, superior of the mission, speaks about the celebration of Palm Sunday at St Vincent Hospital in Dinajpur. Faced with suffering "no one can remain insensitive". Muslims and Hindus gathered in prayer for the anointing of a Catholic woman.

Dinajpur (AsiaNews) – The “mystery of suffering" unites everyone before what “no one can remain insensitive,” said Fr Michele Brambilla, regional superior of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in Bangladesh.

This year the missionary chose to celebrate Palm Sunday at St Vincent Hospital in Dinajpur, the diocesan hospital he runs. It is in this place of sickness and suffering, he says, that "there is a lot of humanity and solidarity". This humanity transcends religious differences. His letter follows below.

Palm Sunday, 2018

Dear friends, many greetings from Bangladesh.

I have just finished the Eucharistic celebration of Palm Sunday in our diocesan hospital. I chose to spend this Lenten period until to Easter celebrating in the place that has been entrusted to me by my bishop for more than two years.

It was a beautiful Lent. Moments of weekly prayer and two days of spiritual retreat in the diocesan seminary adjacent to the hospital were organised for all the medical personnel, paramedics, nurses, washerwomen, cooks and cleaners. The sisters of the Holy Child Mary are behind this; they live and work in the hospital taking care of the sick, the young and yours truly.

Two days ago, Lent Friday, I was called to the general medical ward to give the sacrament of the sick to a very ill woman. There was a choral participation. Everyone stopped to pray around this woman, and we contemplated together the mystery of suffering and entrusted her life to God's hands.

At the end of the prayer, I came out of the room and found Shifat, a 12-year-old Muslim boy who together with his mother attended the prayer. Looking around, I also saw Hindu women and women followers of traditional religions. In the face of someone’s suffering no one can remain insensitive and they are bear witness to it.

I stopped in the corridor to greet Shifat, the first of three siblings without a father, who died three years ago. Two weeks ago, he had his lower leg removed because of a carcinoma. He was serene, he smiled at me and I asked him if he was in pain. He said no, I smiled and left him to his mother's loving care.

These are the glimpses of everyday life that I live in this place full of sickness and suffering but where there is a lot of humanity and solidarity.

I wish you all a joyful Easter in the Lord Jesus, living and present among us.

Hugs to all.

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See also
Easter Letter from Bangladesh: Commitment to mission and evangelization
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Fr. Brambilla, Christmas in hospital: The sick person is a person we need to encounter (Photo)
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Fr. Brambilla: Christmas in the hospital, Muslims and Hindus will celebrate with us
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