The Sacred Heart of Jesus Province in Bangladesh rejoiced on December 1, 2023, with the Priestly Ordination of Fr. Newton Obertson Sarker, C.S.C., at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Shelabunia. Fr. Sarker had made his Final Profession earlier this year on April 21 and was ordained a deacon on April 22 as part of the Province’s annual assembly.
Leading up to the Ordination, on November 30, there was a special parade with traditional music to welcome then Deacon Sarker from his village of Malgazi to Shelabunia. The community then prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, and the customary Mongolusthan took place, during which he was bathed with turmeric as a symbol of purity.
At the Ordination Mass, the Most Rev. James Romen Boiragi, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Khulna, presided, with many priests, brothers, and sisters joining a large crowd of the faithful for the celebration.
In the reception that followed, Fr. George K. Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, and others spoke, thanking in particular Fr. Sarker’s parents and others who formed him in his faith journey.
Fr. Sarker celebrated his first Mass on December 2, with many of the same religious and laypeople present. Members of Fr. Sarker’s village shared many of the cultural activities that they have inherited from their ancestors in the celebration that followed, making for a moving program.
Fr. Sarker will begin his priestly ministry at Corpus Christi Parish, Jalchatra, in the Diocese of Mymensingh.