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Bangladesh church holds formation program for children, animators

The Pontifical Mission Society (PMS) in the Diocese of Rajshahi in Bangladesh held a formation program for children and animators on November 10.

The program took place at the Christo Jyoti (light of Christ) Pastoral Center, Rajshahi, in northern Bangladesh.

The diocese encourages everyone to love and care for children through education and faith formation.

The activity aimed to train new children's animators in local churches in Bangladesh.

As many as 155 children, including children's animators from 26 parishes, as well as priests and nuns from various congregations, attended.

In his welcome address, Father Pius Gomes, secretary of the PMS in the diocese of Rajshahi, said, "We must be humble like the child Jesus. The responsibility of caring for children in the church is to work together, preparing them to serve the church better."

"Everyone benefits from one another's fellowship. We promote the creativity and talents of children and help build them up so that they grow as responsible citizens and committed Catholics in the future," said Gomes.

The PMS is a worldwide Catholic network of missionary activity. It has four organizations: the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of Saint Peter the Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.

PMS has been the Catholic Church's official support organization for overseas missions since 1922. It raises awareness and encourages prayer and collaboration throughout the Catholic Church, bringing Christ's message to the world, particularly in countries where Christianity is new, young, or poor.

The Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood is active in over 130 countries. Its motto is "Children evangelizing children, praying for children, and helping children all over the world."

The Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood fosters in children a missionary spirit and a sense of leadership. It motivates them to share their faith and material benefits, particularly with the most vulnerable children. It encourages, promotes, and supports missionary vocations. It is both a spiritual growth tool and a means of vocation.

Father Premu Rozario, chancellor of the diocese, said, "We see in our family that children are simple, humble, and open-hearted. As a result, we must nurture and care for them from the start of their lives to build them up and form them through knowledge of Catholic teaching."

In his talk, Father Bablu Corraya, director of the pastoral center, said, "A child's excitement is one of the manifestations of its childlike beauty. Therefore, they should be helped to grow up with childlike humility and love because they can help other children. Let’s all care about our children and show our love to them as Jesus did."

Sebastian Purification, manager of Rajshahi area project coordinator for World Vision Bangladesh, started the session with the theme "Child Rights."

He presented a realistic picture of child protection in the country. He gave real-life examples of child marriage, child labor, child beating, child mental abuse, and many other forms of child abuse.

He also explained measures to protect children from various forms of abuse and exploitation that are rampant in society.

Father Liton Costa, a former secretary of PMS for the diocese, said, "Animators of children are the leaders, mothers, and teachers. They are to cooperate in the parishes and take care of the children to build up a better church by guiding, inspiring, and motivating children."

One of the animators said, "Our children are the future. They need to be taught values and ethics."

At the end of the program, children were awarded prizes for various activities. - Nikhil Gomes


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