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Half yearly paper - May to October 2004

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LETTER from BROTHER MARTIN The Students' Prayer Fellowship of St, Paul's Brotherhood

Some students of St. Michael's Hostel came to me saying that a few of them wanted to join the Brotherhood in future and that others could no1, but wanted to do something in relation to us To both groups my suggestion was, "You pray - pray for us, for the Church, and for yourselves. This is something we need more and more from you, and is the best way to support not only the Brothers but also the wider Church, and yourselves". Then I explained to them how the members of the Fellowship of the Epiphany had played a great role almost from the beginning of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Epiphany. They remained as a wall of prayer around the two Communities.

The boys' immediate response was that they could do the same for the Brotherhood of St. Paul. I made them rather sorry by saying, "You are not grown-up enough and are very few in number, so wait until you go to College". That did not discourage them at all, as I understood when they came back within the next week with a few more boys, and also with a few College students. I talked to Father Francis and to the Revd. Monoroma Mitra, the Secretary of the Fellowship of the Epiphany in Bangladesh. And finally, on 16 September, the Students' Prayer Fellowship of St Paul 's Brotherhood was formed at the Epiphany Church, in the presence of the Brothers and of three CSS Sisters, with 29 students studying in the 8th Standard to University level. At present the number has increased to 40.

A simple Rule of Life, regular programmes and a special Vow have been written for them, following the Epiphany Fellowship rules, and we feel so happy seeing God's grace upon them Now more old boys are writing asking to join the group. James Tutul Mondal and James Samrat Byapari, teachers of the Boys' Hostel and School, are leading the group. We are their advisers. They are involved in spiritual exercises like prayer meetings, Bible study, cottage prayer, half-day retreats and fasting, visiting people especially the sick, giving volunteer labour, and helping people through their charitable works. They contribute a small amount of money (Tk 2-10) to the group in a month, and manage to collect from their cottage prayer, making recycled cards, selling waste materials, and so on. They are also very kind in helping in our garden and library, and in arranging special services and celebrations in the church.

We reported this to our dear and honourable Moderator and Visitor, Bishop M. S. Baroi, when he was here with us in January for our Chapter meeting. We feel really proud and loving to our Bishop when we sec how he praises and encourages even the very little things done by us The boys were highly encouraged by the Bishop's appreciation Now the Bishop has another great plan in his mind, as he expressed in the Chapter that St. Paul's Day (30th June) will be celebrated as the founding day of St. Paul's Brotherhood especially for the Brothers The Epiphany feast, which includes all the Brothers and Sisters of past and present, will also be observed as usual on 6th January. So we are planning to invite interested people from our country to join us on 30th June this year We also hope to form St. Paul's Fellowship for the adults Friends from abroad are also welcome to join the Fellowship through their prayers, letters and presence. We want to be your friends a little bit more. Please write to us.

Our e-mail address is.
Our postal address is: St. Paul's Brotherhood, Oxford Mission, Barisal 8200, Bangladesh

May God bless you all.


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