Saint Joseph Province in Bangladesh Celebrates its Silver Jubilee

Author: General Administration

Saint Joseph Province in Bangladesh Celebrates its Silver Jubilee

The Holy Cross Brothers of the Saint Joseph Province celebrated their province’s 25th Anniversary on May 23-24. Joining the Province throughout the two days of celebration were other Holy Cross religious, members of other religious communities, educators, students, and other guests and well-wishers.

The celebrations began with Mass on the morning of May 23 at the Provincial House in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. The Most Rev. Kevin Randall, Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, was the main celebrant. Among the concelebrants were Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C., First Assistant/Vicar General, who represented the General Administration at the jubilee.

Following the Mass, Br. Subal Lawrence Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the Saint Joseph Province welcomed the gathering. Following a refreshment and cultural event led by the scholastic brothers, there was a panel discussion on the pastoral and educational work and leadership of the Holy Cross Brothers.

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Saint Joseph Province in Bangladesh Celebrates its Silver Jubilee

In the afternoon, following an open discussion, Br. Rozario gave a wide-ranging presentation on the history of the brothers in Bangladesh, their role in bringing hope, and the significance and meaning of the jubilee. The day ended with a time of Adoration, which was followed by a cultural event and dinner.

The celebrations continued on May 24. Joining Br. Rozario as the distinguished guests for the day were His Eminence Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, C.S.C., retired Archbishop of Dhaka; Most Rev. Romen Boiragi, Bishop of the Diocese of Khulna; Most Rev. Shorot F. Gomes, Bishop of the Diocese of Sylhet; Fr. George Komol Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province; and Sr. Violate Rodrigues, C.S.C., Area Coordinator for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Asia.

After Morning Prayer, there was the blessing of the Jubilee Monument and a baloon release to mark the hope of the moment. Then Br. Chandan Benedict Gomes, C.S.C, Vicar of Saint Joseph Province, delivered the welcoming speech at the day's opening session.

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Saint Joseph Province in Bangladesh Celebrates its Silver Jubilee

The day included a wide range of reflections and speeches from former missionaries, teachers, and students, to current Holy Cross Brothers, collaborators, and members of other religious communities. Along the way, the participants received a comprehensive vision of the identity and mission of the Holy Cross Brothers and how they might carry hope into the future. Those speeches were punctuated by songs and dances.

In the presentations and conversations, there was a particular emphasis on the two Congregational mission priorities of education and option for the poor, which are all the hallmarks of the St. Joseph Province's ministry.

Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country, with the Christian minority only 0.3%, yet the Holy Cross Brothers are well-known and respected for their work in education. Their schools are sought by families of all faith traditions for the quality of education given both to the mind and the heart. In addition to their schools in the large cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, the brothers also run and have opened schools in poor, rural villages, in an intentional effort to reach out to the poor and provide them with a good education through which they might transform their lives. 

Saint Joseph Province in Bangladesh Celebrates its Silver Jubilee

The finale of the Jubilee celebration began with a closing Mass, with the Most Rev. Bijoy D'Cruze, O.M.I., Archbishop of Dhaka, as the main celebrant. He was joined by many bishops and priests who concelebrated the Mass, including the Apostolic Nuncio, who gave the Papal Blessing. 

Following the bestowing of recognition awards on the distinguished guests and a thanksgiving speech by Br. Rozario, there was a grand festive dinner.