Dhaka: During his upcoming apostolic journey to Bangladesh from November 30 to December 2, 2017 Pope Francis will ordain 16 new priests in Dhaka. AsiaNews spoke to some of them who all express their excitement and anticipation at their priestly consecration. They include Jashim Murmu, from the diocese of Dinajpur and of santal tribal origin, who states: “The first good news is that Pope Francis is coming to Bangladesh. The second is that he will ordain me a priest. ”
The ordination will take place on December 1, during the mass that the pontiff will preside at in the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan Park. About 10,000 people are expected to attend. Out of the16 deacons, 10 are diocesan, one of the Oblates of the Immaculate Mary, and five of the Holy Cross [congregation of Holy Cross].
The deacon Murmu will be the first priest of his village which is a fully tribal village belonging to Santhal community. This makes him even more proud. Another soon-to-be ordained, Gracy Rozario CSC, of the archdiocese of Dhaka, says, “I cannot wait to be ordained by the Pope. For me it is a special blessing to be consecrated by him. For this I give thanks to Almighty God. ” He is preparing “with prayers, so I can devote myself to being a perfect and holy priest to preach the message of God.”
Cizar Costa, of the diocese of Rajshahi, states: “Pope Francis will lay his hands on my head and ordain me blessing me. This is an immense joy for me. They very thought brings endless peace to my heart.” The deacon says it is a “great gift to be consecrated by the Holy Father. I thank the ecclesiastical authorities of Bangladesh for this opportunity. I also thank my parents and my whole family for encouraging me to become a priest. ”
All 16 deacons studied at the Major Seminary of Holy Spirit, the only Seminary in Bangladesh. Fr. Emmanuel Kanon Rozario, the rector, reports that at the moment the seminary hosts 400 students. This situation is the exact opposite to the Western and European scene, where there is a decline in religious vocations.
Regarding the future priests, he reports: “We are helping them in spiritual preparation. As a final stage of preparation, they will participate in a prayer retreat that will take place from November 14 to 20. ” According to Fr. Emmanuel, “becoming a priest is just the first step in the ministry of priesthood”. “We have prepared them adequately – he says in conclusion – and I hope they will become holy priests for the Catholic Church.”
(source: Asia News)