The Bangladesh Diocesan Priests’ Fraternity (BDPF) held its annual retreat on synodality in two groups at the Christo Jyoti (light) Pastoral Center in the northern part of the country from September 26 to October 8.
The Italian missionary priest, Francesco Rapacioli, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), was the retreat preacher for both batches.
As many as 188 diocesan priests and bishops from different parts of Bangladesh participated in it. The theme was "Synodality: Communion, Participation, and Mission."
The Synodal Church prioritizes the responsibility of priests and how they are doing their best in their pastoral works.
Before beginning the annual retreat, a warm reception was given to the newly consecrated Bishop Emmanuel Kanon Rozario of Barishal, since it was his first program as a prelate with the BDPF members. Then the prelate thanked everyone for their prayers and wishes.
On behalf of the host diocese, Bishop Gervas Rozario welcomed and thanked all of the participants.
The retreat preacher, Father Rapacioli, explained different aspects of synodality: Communion, Participation, and Mission.
He mentioned the life examples of saints and great people of the Church in a simple way to make the theme understandable.
On behalf of the participants, Father Marcus Murmu expressed his feelings by saying, "I am spiritually nourished during this retreat. The retreat preacher told us many mysteries—of our human life and the fulfillment of priestly service duties. He called pastoral work--a mystical work for a priest."
"One of the most interesting things Father Rapacioli talked about was the life of a priest and faith," the priest said.
"The retreat preacher spoke to us in the light of the Bible and Catholic pastoral ministries," Murmu said.
"Moreover, he presented to us the life examples of different people, which I think will be helpful spiritually in our pastoral life journey."
Another participant, Father Albino Khokon Sarkar, said, "The retreat of 2022 was a time of special blessing for all. Our retreat preacher enlightened us and shared his knowledge, thoughts, and pastoral work experience. We spiritually benefited in our lives a lot from him."
At the end of the retreat, Father Mintu L. Palma, the president of BDPF, thanked all for their active participation and the host diocese.
All the BDPF members were happy to have the retreat after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some expressed their opinion that it was a fruitful time for them to be more enthusiastic about their missions.
During the two-week annual retreat, all the priests spend more time with Jesus in prayer and communion and are spiritually enriched. -
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