After several postponements due to the coronavirus lockdown, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross quietly, but joyfully, celebrated the Final Profession and Ordination to the Diaconate of six of their religious in Bangladesh. It is one of the largest Final Vows classes for the Province in a couple of decades, making it a great sign of hope for the community and the people in the midst of the challenges and difficulties of these days.
The celebrations were held at the Holy Cross House Scholasticate in Rampura, Dhaka, the weekend of June 12-13, 2020. The Most Rev. Shorot Francis Gomes, Auxiliary Bishop of Dhaka, presided and preached at both the Mass of Final Profession and the Mass of Ordination. Fr. James Cruze, C.S.C., Superior of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, received the Final Professions of the six religious.
Those who professed Final Vows on June 12 and were ordained deacons on June 13 were: Mr. Nitto Anthony Ekka, C.S.C., Mr. Timon Innocent Gomes, C.S.C., Mr. Robel Ruben Biswas, C.S.C., Mr. Ananda Joseph Mondal, C.S.C., Mr. Khokon Christopher Baro, C.S.C., and Mr. Badhon Hilarious Rozario, C.S.C.
Such a large class would ordinarily have attracted hundreds of guests; however, government restrictions limited outside visitors to only 50 people. Families were privately driven from their villages to Rampura for the occasion.
Among the Holy Cross religious who were able to attend were Br. Subal Rozario, C.S.C., Superior of the St. Joseph Province, and Sr. Violet Rodrigues, Area Coordinator of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
The scholasticate staff and seminarians did all of the food preparation, decorations and set-up, which truly made for a Holy Cross family affair. They also planned the modified cultural program following each ceremony. Tributes to the newly professed were made by Province leadership, invited guests, and family members.
These are not the only Final Professions for the Holy Cross community in Bangladesh this year. Earlier in February, the St. Joseph Province celebrated the Final Professions of two of its brothers.