At a festive ceremony on January 25, 2021 and in the presence of several government and church officials, the Congregation of Holy Cross's St. Joseph Province and the Diocese of Rajshahi laid the foundation stone for Holy Cross School and College, the first Holy Cross educational institution in the diocese. This ceremony is the capstone of the longstanding dream of the Most Rev. Gervas Rozario, Bishop of Rajshahi, to have the Holy Cross Brothers teaching in his diocese.
Rajshahi is located in the northern part of Bangladesh with a population of mostly poor ethnic indigenous groups that suffer from a low literacy rate, making the need for a quality school more pressing. The future Holy Cross School and College will be co-educational and will accommodate approximately 800 students from grades 1-12. Boarding hostels will be available for 80-100 students.
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Attending the ceremony were Bishop Rozario, Br. Subal Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the St. Joseph Province, Mayor Khairuzzaman Liton of Rajshahi City, Dr. Mokbul Hossain, Chair of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Mr. Shadad Ali (Shahu), Ward Commissioner, and Mr. Suklaesh George Costa, Caritas Regional Director.
In his comments, Br. Subal emphasized the inclusivity of the mission and vision of a Holy Cross education. “We would like to educate all, especially students from underprivileged communities and seek to promote justice and peace through a value-based education.”
Mr. Nassir Uddin, a district education officer in Rajshahi expressed his excitement about the potential impact of the school in the community. “From my experience, I know missionary education institutions differ from government and non-government in the quality of the academic system, values, and extracurricular activities. Thus, the start of Holy Cross School and College is a cause of joy to the people of the city.”
The brothers began their mission in the diocese on January 1, 2019, when Br. Placid Rebeiro, C.S.C., and Br. Rocky Gosal, C.S.C., assumed the direction of Muktidata (Redeemer) High School, a diocesan school. Today Br. Placid, C.S.C., and Br. Blaise Purification, C.S.C., remain at Muktidata High School. When the new Holy Cross School and College is built, the brothers will hand the direction of Muktidata High School back to the diocese.
Currently, the Holy Cross Brothers staff 25 schools in Bangladesh and educate approximately 25,000 students, the majority of whom are Muslim.