December 2021 was a month of celebration for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province in Bangladesh. The province celebrated a First Profession of Vows as well as the Ordinations of two new priests.
Kneeling before Fr. George Kamal Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, Mr. Utchas Anthony Rozario, C.S.C., professed his First Vows on December 16 in the chapel of Holy Cross Scholasticate in Rampura, Dhaka. Attending the ceremony were Fr. Ashim Theotonius Gonsalves, C.S.C., Novice Master, and Fr. Proshanto Nicholas Cruz, C.S.C., Director. Attendance was limited to several Holy Cross priests, seminarians, and family members for the Mass and celebratory meal following the liturgy.
Later, at the end of the month, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province celebrated the Ordinations of two new priests, Fr. Tias Augustine Gomes, C.S.C., and Fr. Mithu Palma, C.S.C.
Deacon Tias Gomes and a diocesan deacon were ordained by the Most Rev. Bijoy N. D’Cruze, O.M.I., Archbishop of Dhaka, on December 30 at St. John the Baptist Church in Tumilia.
In his homily, the Archbishop urged the two soon-to-be priests to “follow the footsteps of Jesus, to understand the signs of the time, and to live a holy life.” The Most Rev. Theotonius Gomes, C.S.C., Bishop-emeritus of the Archdiocese of Dhaka, and Fr. Kamal Rozario witnessed the ceremony along with more than 80 religious and diocesan priests, and approximately 600 lay people. The evening before the Ordination, the parish had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a blessing program in honor of the two deacons.
Fr. Gomes served as a deacon at the Pirgacha Parish and offered his first Mass on December 31 at the church where he was ordained, St. John the Baptist Church in Tumilia.
The second Holy Cross Deacon, Mithu Palma, was ordained on December 31 at the Mariabad Parish, Borni, Rajshahi, by the Most Rev. Gervas Rozario, Bishop of the Diocese of Rajshahi. Since Fr. Palma is the only priest ordained in the diocese in 2021, it was a grand celebration for the parish with 40 priests and religious and over 1,500 parishioners attending the Mass. Bishop Rozario expressed his gratitude to the Congregation of Holy Cross and asked the people present to support the holiness of the newly ordained priest, for “without holiness, a priest cannot be connected with God.”
The evening before the ordination, the parishioners conducted for Deacon Minthu a traditional purifying and blessing rite with turmeric. This was accompanied by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
On New Year’s Day, Fr. Mithu celebrated his first Mass at Mariabad Parish. Afterward, a cultural program and lunch followed in his village.