Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Quotation of the Week (December 10 - 16, 2017)

A quotation of Steve Jobs on 'death,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork (Christian symbols of death: Nov. 1, 2017) © Mary D'Costa

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Quotation of the Week (December 3 - 9, 2017)

A quotation of Pope Francis on 'children and the elderly,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork by Ryan Andre D'Costa (3½ years old)

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pope Francis Visits Mother Teresa's Home, Meets Priests and Religious, Visits Historic Church and Cemetery, and Talks to Youths Before Departure from Dhaka

Pope Francis' Third and Final Day in Bangladesh

Pope Francis visits historic Portuguese-built 17th century-church and cemetery at Tejgaon, Dhaka (Dec. 2, 2017)
Photo courtesy: Reuters

Pope Francis today (December 2) made a private visit to the Mother Teresa's Home, run by her Missionaries of Charity Sisters at Tejgaon and met and spoke with the Sisters and the orphans, and old and sick people who receive their care. He then met a few hundred priests, Brothers, Sisters, consecrated men and women, seminarians and novices at the nearby Holy Rosary Church. He also visited the adjacent Portuguese-built historic old church and cemetery. Finally, he went to Notre Dame College in Motijheel area of Dhaka and talked with the youth belonging to different religions before leaving for the Dhaka International Airport from where he flew to Rome in a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane. It is noteworthy that he came to Bangladesh on November 30 morning from Myanmar on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane, too.  

For more on Pope's third and final day in Bangladesh, please click on the following: 

(Updated on Dec. 4, 2017)

(To go to Pope Francis's First Day in Bangladesh, click here)

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Pope Francis Ordains Priests And Meets With Bishops, Inter-religious Leaders and Rohingya Refugees in Dhaka

Pope Francis's Second Day in Bangladesh

Pope Francis ordains a deacon to Catholic priesthood at the solemn Mass at Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka (Dec. 1, 2017)
Photo courtesy: CTV photo via BTV

More than 80,000 Catholics from all over Bangladesh attend the papal Mass at Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka (Dec. 1, 2017)
Photo courtesy: Reuters

Pope meets with Catholic Bishops of Bangladesh at the Archbishop's House, Ramna, Dhaka (Dec. 1, 2017)
Photo courtesy: Osservatore Romano

More than 80,000 Catholics from around Bangladesh, a number of government officials, members of foreign diplomatic corps, inter-religious leaders, and ecumenical Church leaders attended Pope Francis's solemn concelebrated Mass at Suhrawarthy Uddyan park in Dhaka today, reports various news sources. 

In his homily, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to all and said: "I know that many of you came from afar, for a trip for more than two days. Thank you for your generosity. This indicates the love you have for the Church," reports the Daily Star. 

He also encouraged and inspired 16 deacons by saying: "you are to be raised to the Order of the Priesthood.  For your part, you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher.  Impart to everyone the word of God which you have received with joy.  Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach."

Meeting Bangladesh's Catholic bishops at the Archbishop's House at Ramna, he appreciated the pastoral plan of the bishops and encouraged them to continue their work earnestly. He laid emphasis on the importance of the laity in the Church, saying: "At the same time, I would ask you to show ever greater pastoral closeness to the lay faithful.  There is a need to promote their effective participation in the life of your particular Churches, not least through the canonical structures that provide for their voices to be heard and their experiences acknowledged.  Recognize and value the charisms of lay men and women, and encourage them to put their gifts at the service of the Church and of society as a whole.  I think here of the many dedicated catechists in this country, whose apostolate is essential for the growth of the faith and for the Christian formation of the next generation.  They are true missionaries and leaders of prayer, especially in the more remote areas.  Be concerned for their spiritual needs and for their continuing education in the faith."

In the inter-religious peace gathering at the same compound, Pope Francis welcomed all and encouraged them to work for solidarity, harmony, and peace. He also said: "Openness of heart is likewise a path that leads to the pursuit of goodness, justice and solidarity.... A spirit of openness, acceptance and cooperation between believers does not simply contribute to a culture of harmony and peace; it is its beating heart."

Meeting with some Myanmar Rohingya refugees in the gathering, he said: "The presence of God today is also called Rohingya... In the name of all of those who have persecuted you, hurt you, I ask forgiveness. I appeal to your large hearts to give us the forgiveness that we are asking."

Pope Francis rides on a cycle rickshaw at the Archbishop's House at Ramna, Dhaka (Dec. 1, 2017)
Photo courtesy: AP

Pope Francis also rode on a cycle rickshaw in the Archbishop's House compound in Dhaka. He is the second Pope to do so. The first pope to ride on a rickshaw was Pope John Paul II in his 1986 visit to Bangladesh. The Guinness Book of World Records should consider to mention Pope John Paul II's name as the first rickshaw-riding pope in the world in more than 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church. 

For more, click on the following:

(Updated on Dec. 4, 2017)

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pope Francis On Arrival Receives A Cordial Welcome in Bangladesh

Pope Francis' First Day in Bangladesh

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid officially receives Pope Francis at the Dhaka Airport (Nov. 30, 2017)
Photo courtesy: Reuters

(L-R) Bangladesh and Vatican flags furl on a roadside in Dhaka (Nov. 30, 2017)   
Photo courtesy: AFP

On his arrival in Dhaka, Pope Francis, as head of the Vatican State, was given a red-carpet welcome, including a guard of honour, by Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid. Delegations of political and religious authorities, and a groups of children, with their flowers, singing and dancing, were also there. 

Later, praising Bangladesh's efforts in helping the hapless Rohingya refugees within its borders, the Pope also took the opportunity to earnestly appeal to the international communities to extend their hands as much as possible. 

To know more on Pope's visit, please see the following:

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Before Pope's Visit, A Catholic Priest Goes Missing, Ransom Demanded

 Father Walter William Rozario 
Photo courtesy:

Father Walter William Rozario, 40, an assistant priest of Borni Catholic Church of Natore District  goes missing in the middle of his hectic preparation for bringing his 300-member Catholic group to Dhaka for the visit of Pope Francis on November 30. His younger brother reported to the local police that the miscreants demanded Tk. 300,000 (US. $3,618) for his release.

Local police chief told AFP, "He has been missing since late Monday [Nov. 27]. His mobile [cellphone] has been switched off." Gervas Rozario, Bishop of Rajshahi Diocese, believe that the priest has been kidnapped and Catholics in the region were deeply worried. The police are engaged in a vigorous search for Fr. Rozario. 

Islamic militants in the recent past were active in the region kidnapping, shooting, and killing people of minority communities. Father Walter Rozario hails from Borni Catholic village, where a local Catholic grocer, Sunil Gomes was mercilessly hacked to death in June, 2016. 

For more on Father Walter William Rozario, please read the following:

News Update: Father Walter William Rozario Has Been Found

(Updated on Dec. 2 and 4, 2017)

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Quotation of the Week (November 26 - December 2, 2017)

A quotation of Justin Trudeau on 'freedom,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A plaque at Port Carling, Ontario, Canada: September 3, 2017) Photo © Jerome D'Costa

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