After one year of laying the foundation stone, the St. Joseph Province in Bangladesh inaugurated its newest educational institution, Holy Cross School and College, in the Diocese of Rajshahi on January 18.
Giving a warm welcome to over 100 students, Br. Placid Reberio, C.S.C., Principal, said that his “first consideration is to ensure that pupils can learn in an open and student-friendly environment so that they can learn values … such as leadership through humanitarian, moral development, and extracurricular activities.”
Cutting the ribbon to officially open the school were chief guests, Mrs. Joya Maria Pereira, ADC of Rajshahi, the Most Rev. Jervas Rozario, Bishop of the Dioceseof Rajshahi, and Br. Subal Lawrence Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the St. Joseph Province and Chair of the School Managing Committee. The establishment of Holy Cross School and College is an exciting, new venture for both the city of Rajshahi and the diocese, as it is the first missionary school in a city with few Catholics. The school guarantees an inclusive education to students of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
The Congregation of Holy Cross first arrived in what is modern day Bangaldesh in 1853, fulfillling a request to Blessed Basile Moreau, the Founder of Holy Cross, from Propaganda Fide, the Vatican congregation that oversees the Church’s missionary work. Today, although Christians constitute a small minority (about 0.3%) in this predominantly Muslim country, the Congregation is well-known and respected, particularly for its work in education. Notre Dame College in Dhaka, founded in 1949, is the premier college and institution of higher secondary education in the country. The excellence of the college's education moved the government and Church in Bangladesh to petition Holy Cross to found a university in the country, and Notre Dame University held its first classes on December 7, 2014. This is in addition to many other colleges, high schools, and trades schools run by the Congregation.