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“On the way” to Bangladesh



Our Mission Ad Gentes Brothers

24/08/2007: Bangladesh

We now have seven brothers preparing to enter Bangladesh to commence our new Marist mission there, as part of the Mission Ad Gentes initiative in Asia.
Four of our new missionaries are on their way to their new land… almost. It takes some time for a Bangladesh missionary visa to get processed. However the latest news is that the missionary visas for the first four will be issued in Bangladesh on August 15th, our Patronal Feastday! The second group of three will arrive in India in mid-August to begin their wit for visas. Rather than have these first four men wait, we decided it would be better for them to get a head start learning “Bangla”, so they have begun in the Indian state of West Bengal. They are some 50 km from the Border of Bangladesh… so close. So, they decided to make the best of their time.

At first, they were greeted warmly by our Brothers in Trichy, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The Brothers not only showed them typical Marist hospitality and made them feel at home immediately, but they received a wonderful “tour” of our houses and apostolic works in Tamil Nadu… the two schools that we run and the “Operation Rainbow”, working with children affected with or by AIDS.

Then, Bro. Santhosh accompanied them up to Kolkata where they met up with Bro. Barry Burns, the Superior of the Sector of MAG-Asia. Santhosh and Barry looked for accommodation for these Brothers and a teacher to begin learning Bangla. As an interim, they were able to accept the hospitality of the Jesuits of St. Lawrence School, but as they had few spare rooms, they needed to find another place. Soon, they were housed in “Proggaloy” the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, which is a retreat and conference center. There, they share the house and were warmly welcomed by two parish priests, Fr. Soosai and Fr. Edward, and two Servants of Mary Sisters, Lucia and Lucy, who work at the Center.

They were able to share our charism and the story of St. Marcellin with their new community on the feast of St. Marcellin. Each Brother shared one story from the life of St. Marcellin and the life of our first brothers.

And so they continue to study and learn Bangla in India… until they get their visas and can ultimately reach their goal: opening a community in Bangladesh. Once in Dhaka, Bangladesh they will be warmly welcomed by our Marist Missionary Sisters and given interim accommodation with them while they find their own place to live while continuing their Bangla language studies. Good luck to you, Martí, Ewald, Mark, and Hilario, and to the new group about to arrive, Javier, Virgilio, and Eugenio. Godspeed!

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