Letter from Haluaguat
In May, 2006 I had to attend a Blessing Ceremony for a house built for the Catechist at our parish of Katolmari, a few kilometres away from St. Andrews Mission, Haluaghat. There is no proper road, and as a stranger I lost the way. When I asked an old man in that remote place whether he knew the way to the church, he replied, Do you want to go to Oskoboard Mission? (He could not pronounce Oxford correctly.) I said Yes, and was surprised how far the name of the Oxford Mission is still known in these days!
Today the church here is growing bigger, with many institutions under the Church of Bangladesh. There is a church building, a very good Primary School, and other programmes run by the Social Development Project of the CoB.
The Sisterhood of St. Mary
In the last issue of the OM News, a tribute was paid to Sister Charu SSM who died in February. On 25 June Sister Mala Chisam took her First Vows. Our senior priest, the Revd. Birbal Halder, said, Before we complete our mourning for Sister Charu, God has blessed us with another Sister. Bishop Michael Baroi led the service with seven Presbyters. A reception was given in Sister Charus memory after the service. Both service and reception were very moving, with praises, good speeches, songs and dances in Garo and Bengali.
Mrs. Baroi, who comes from a Roman Catholic background and has a high respect for the religious life, encouraged parents to offer their daughters to the Sisterhood so that we have more Sisters. This is because the number is going down. There are now four Sisters and two Postulants: Sister Meera, who is not in very good health, heads the Sisterhood. Sister Anita is her right hand. Sister Brijita works in the Girls Hostel as the Assistant Warden. Newly-professed Sister Mala helps in the Church and Chapel, and also helps to run the Sister Dr. Chella Hostel. She is studying in the Open University. The two Postulants, Nirva and Sathi, help in the housekeeping and in the kitchen. Sister Meera gives them lessons every day, and hopefully they will enter into their Noviciate soon.
Please pray for the Sisterhood and for all of us here in Haluaghat.
FATHER MARTIN HIRA MONDOL