It is noteworthy that 200 years ago when St. Eugene Mazenod founded the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), he had thought of including love for the poor and marginalized in his charism of apostolic work of evangelization. Now, around 4000 Oblates are working in 66 countries all over the world; in Bangladesh Oblates are working in 4 dioceses -Dhaka, Chittagong. Sylhet and Rajshahi. I am very happy to take note that the Holy Father has entrusted the diocese of Sylhet to the pastoral care to the Oblates. This is a sign of the trust and confidence placed on the spiritual and social and charitable apostolic activities of the Oblate Fathers in Bangladesh.
I am a personal witness to St. Eugene de Mazenod's charism that is running through this Noyanagar Church. I have visited this church many times since it is the nearest one to the Nunciature and from the beginning of my mission in Bangladesh; I have experienced the spirit, zeal and enthusiasm of the Oblates here. This church is catering to the needs of all kinds of races, creeds, and particularly migrants, and is engaged in school, dispensary, and social services, like giving care to the handicapped and marginalised. A number of people are touched, directly or indirectly, by the generous service of the priests, sisters, and other lay leaders of this Noyanagar church.
As we celebrate the Bicentenary of the Oblates, I take this opportunity to convey to you, dear Fr. Dilip Sarkar OMI and all Oblates working in Bangladesh, the appreciation and gratitude of the Holy Father Pope Francis for your self-sacrificing and commendable service to the people of Bangladesh.
+ The Most Reverend George Kocherry
Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh
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