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30 October

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Young Bengalis in the footsteps of Jesus



Vocations Day in Srimongol

17/05/2010: Bangladesh

On 30 April 2010, we celebrated Vocations Day in the parish of Saint Joseph the Worker in Sirimongol, Bangladesh. The motto was: « Come and follow me! ». It was a day directed at youth of secondary school age (from the 6th class to the 10th). All came from indigenous communities (Mandis, Kashias, Santal, Garo, Urao, etc.). Many of them are the sons of plantation workers and live in extreme poverty.

Brothers Martí Enrich (l’Hermitage) and Javier Peña (México Central), engaged presently in the Mission Ad Gentes project in Bangladesh, took an active part in the day, with other congregations in the locality such as the Holy Cross Fathers and the Holy Cross Sisters (both CSC); the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, RNDM, and the Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles, SMRA.

The celebration began with a prayer and Bengali and Kashia hymns, followed by the reading of the Gospel. Then there was a talk about vocation in the Bible: we are all called to life, to build ourselves as persons; called to happiness, love, brotherhood, service, and a mission that God has prepared for us from all eternity.

Then followed a panel on vocations: a lay married catechist, a priest, a brother and three sisters exercising different apostolates (health, education, pastoral ministry), who responded to the following questions:
1. How did you discover your vocation?
2. How do you live it?
3. What are the satisfactions and the difficulties that you meet in your vocation ?

The some 200 participants proved noticeably very attentive and very interested in the responses.

After the meal, groups heard responses to the following questions:
1. What are you thinking now about vocation?
2. What are the challenges you have to face to respond to your vocation?
3. How do you harmonise your life of prayer and service of others?

At the time of the « plenary », we became clear about the sentiments of fear or confusion existing, and on the need for personal or group accompaniment.

A little later, we watched a film on the life of Jesus according to Saint Luke’s Gospel, focusing on the way Jesus discovers and responds to his vocation and how he calls his apostles.

The day ended with the celebration of the Eucharist. During this, the young people represented the call of Matthew, emphasising the simplicity of the call and the promptness of the response. With the bread and the wine we offered up our readiness to respond to the call Jesus is making to us continually – starting from the Gospel, in everyday life or through the needs of the poor.

Br. Francisco Javier Peña de la Maza, fms.
Srimongol, Bangladesh.

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