April 20, 2018, was a grace-filled and joyous day for the Church of Bangladesh, especially for the faithful of De Mazenod Girja (Church) in Baridhara and for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate as His Eminence Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, CSC, blessed and inaugurated the Church.
Almost about 2000 faithful from surrounding blocks of the locality gathered for the celebration. His Excellency Most Rev. Archbishop George Kocherry, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh; Most Rev. Bejoy D’CRUZE, Bishop of Sylhet; Emeritus Bishop Most Rev. Theotonius Gomes, CSC; Rev. Fr. Irwin MORAIS, the Provincial of Colombo Province, Sri Lanka; Rev Fr. Aloys TERLIESNER, , the Mission Procurator from Germany; about 35 Priests; His Excellency, the Ambassador of Norway; many dignitaries, nuns, seminarians and Brothers participated in the inauguration and blessing ceremony.
The ceremony began with the handing over of the structural designs and the keys of the Girja to the Delegation Superior Rev. Fr. Ajit Victor COSTA, by the construction company’s engineer Mr. Amal Dhar, the cutting of the ribbon by the dignitary guests and the opening of the main entrance of the Girja by His Eminence, the Cardinal. In his homily His Eminence invited the people to become the Holy People of God. It is God who made us holy through His Son Jesus Christ who gave his life for us and sanctified us. Our identity as a holy, kingly and priestly nation derives from our Baptism in Jesus Christ. He reminded the participants that Jesus chasing the sellers and money changers from the temple urges us to constantly aspire to holiness by chasing away evils from our hearts.
After the Eucharist, many of the distinguished guests shared their thoughts on the occasion. Citing Psalm 127:1, Archbishop Kocherry said, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” The De Mazenod Girja at Baridhara is the manifestation of God’s love and generous gift to the faithful of Baridhara. He continued, “I personally witness the good works that have been carried out by the Oblate Fathers, scholastics, nuns and faithful of Baridhara.” He thanked them all for their great works and services. He said that the Holy Father Pope Francis is happy to contribute the tabernacle for this Church.
The other speakers expressed their gratitude to God for carrying out marvelous services through many people and institutions even today. De Mazenod Girja is one of such manifestations of God’s wonderful works. Fr. Costa, OMI thanked all who in any way participated in and contributed to making a long awaited dream a reality after 37 years of pilgrimage, struggle and uncertainty. God’s work is immensely marvelous! (Fr Pius POHDUENG)