Bonga Majola, OMI

The Bangladesh Oblate family welcomes the successor of St. Eugene de Mazenod, Fr. Chicho, on the occasion of their 50 years of missionary evangelizing presence and service to the Church in Bangladesh.

Jubilee Year
The Oblate Delegation of Bangladesh inaugurated their Golden Jubilee year of the Oblate presence in the country on July 29, 2022, in Lokhipur Parish. The first Oblates arrived in the country on July 29, 1973. Oblates are currently serving in four dioceses in Bangladesh: the Archdiocese of Dhaka, the Archdiocese of Chattagram, the Diocese of Sylhet and the Diocese of Rajshahi.

Listening to the Oblates
On his arrival, in Dhaka, on Wednesday, July 5, the Superior General was warmly and joyfully welcomed by Frs. Ajit Costa OMI (Delegation Superior), Pius Pohdueng OMI, and Rupak Rozario, OMI.

Over the past few days, he has dedicated most of his time to visiting Oblate missions and meeting with Oblates and the Mazenodian family in Bangladesh. The Superior General has prioritized listening to individual Oblates, affirming them, and appreciating who they are and what they do. This visit has allowed the Superior General to know and appreciate this Delegation.

In his reflections, he has continuously invited the Oblates and the lay associates “to center their life, vocation, and mission on Jesus Christ and be a blessing to others.” Using the words of our founder, he has called on the Oblate charismatic family in Bangladesh to “strive to be fully human, authentic Christians who burn with desire for sanctity.”

In one of his homilies during Mass, Fr. Chicho exhorted all present, saying, “Let our lives be a thanksgiving to God. As members of the Oblate family, we all share the same charism of St. Eugene.” Addressing the MAMI members, he told them, “You teach us the charism. We learn from you about our charism. Be our collaborators. Let us together witness our missionary vocation.”

Venerating and being blessed by the Founder’s Oblate Cross has been the highlight and a moment of great consolation for those who have been able to meet the Superior General in Bangladesh.

Close to the people
The words of our Constitution number 8 have taken on more profound meaning and are at the heart of the Superior General as he continues his pilgrimage of gratitude in Bangladesh. “We will always be close to the people with whom we work, considering their values and aspirations. To seek out new ways for the Word of God to reach their hearts often calls for daring; to present Gospel demands in all clarity should never intimidate us. Awareness of our own shortcomings humbles us, yet God’s power makes us confident as we strive to bring all people – especially the poor – to full consciousness of their dignity as human beings and as sons and daughters of God.”

The closing ceremony of the Jubilee Year will take place on July 21, 2023, at De Mazenod Church in Dhaka. After which, the Superior General will return to Rome. We accompany Fr. Chicho and the Delegation of Bangladesh with our prayers.