May was the month to celebrate religious vows in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province in Bangladesh, with three First Professions, one Final Profession, and two silver jubilees.
The month began with the three First Professions on May 1 of Mr. Parnil A. Gomes, C.S.C., Mr. Shaon C. Hembrom, C.S.C., and Mr. Sporsho M. Palma, C.S.C. In a Mass held in the chapel of Sadhana Griha, Banasree, in Rampura, Fr. George K. Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, presided and received the vows of all three novices. Fr. Frank Quinlivan, C.S.C., preached the homily.
In addition to the family and relatives of three newly professed, there was a large contingent of religious at the Mass, including about 100 men in various stages of initial formation with Holy Cross. Afterward, the newly professed religious were given a cordial reception with flowers and speeches, and then the agape meal was served for all. The three will now continue their initial formation at Christo Darshan Seminary while studying at Notre Dame University Bangladesh.
The Final Profession and two silver jubilees were celebrated together on April 21, the last day of the province’s annual assembly, which had begun on April 18. This year’s theme was "Enlarge the Vision of Blessed Basile Moreau". Fr. Rozario gave the opening address in which he highlighted the importance of fraternity and community and recalled Fr. Moreau's aspirations, sense of mission, and spirituality. Much of the rest of the three days was filled with various reports on the life and ministry of the province, including vocation promotion, initial formation, parochial ministry, finances, and Notre Dame University Bangladesh.
The Mass on April 21 was celebrated by the Most Rev. Bejoy N. D'Cruze, OMI, Archbishop of Dhaka; His Eminence Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario, C.S.C., Archbishop Emeritus of Dhaka; Most Rev. James Romen Boiragi, Bishop of the Diocese of Khulna; and the Most Rev. Theotonius Gomes, C.S.C., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Dhaka.
In the Mass, Mr. Newton Obertson Sarkar, C.S.C. professed his Final Vows to Fr. Rozario. The silver jubilarians were Fr. Leonard Shankar Rozario, C.S.C., and Fr. James Clement Cruze, C.S.C.
The celebration drew over 80 priests, as well as many religious brothers and sisters in addition to the family members and the friends of the two jubilarians and the seminarian. After the Mass there was a felicitation program to honor both the jubilarians and the new finally professed. An agape meal followed and continued the celebration into the evening.
The following day, April 22, Mr. Sarkar was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Boragi. Like the Final Vows Mass the day before, the Ordination took place at the Moreau House campus in Rampura, and there was a felicitation program and agape meal that followed.
Deacon Sarkar comes from the village of Malgazi. He entered the novitiate on August 1, 2015 and professed his First Vows on August 5, 2016. Newton has been inspired by the vision of religious life being “not about keeping busy doing just any work, but a service with heart-filled love for others.” He is sustained by his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and enjoys reading spiritual books and journaling. He looks forward to serving as an educator in the faith.