January 4, 2024, was a historic day for the St. Joseph Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Fifteen young students in grades 9 and 10 were received into the province’s new Holy Cross Juniorate in Rajshahi. The new formation house, which is the province’s second high-school-level formation house in the country, comes as the St. Joseph Province has seen a large growth in brothers’ vocations in Bangladesh.
“Due to the presence of Holy Cross Brothers in all dioceses in the country, many young Catholic boys are interested in joining the brotherhood," explained Br. Subal Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the St. Joseph Province. “As a result, we needed a second juniorate program in another diocese. This new juniorate will accept aspirants from the dioceses of Dinajpur, Khulna, and Rajshahi. Above all, it will help form more brothers for service in the Congregation and the Church.
The second Juniorate is located on the same property as the province’s newest school: Holy Cross School, Rahshahi. It is staffed by two Holy Cross religious: Br. Alex Martin Pereira, C.S.C., Director, and Br. Anthony Hembrom, C.S.C., Assistant Director.
As part of a wider visit to Bangladesh for the 75th Anniversary of Notre Dame College, Dhaka, Br. Paul Bednarzcyk, C.S.C., Superior General of the Congregation, visited the Holy Cross Juniorate, Rahshahi, and participated in a dedication ceremony along with the Most Rev. Gervais Rozario, Bishop of the Diocese of Rajshahi, and Br. Rozario on Monday, January 22. Also present was Fr. Thomas Eckert, C.S.C., Director of the Holy Cross Mission Center of the U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers.