A workshop on skill development of Christian religious leaders was held at St. Eugene Human Formation and Development Center, Laxmipur Mission under Kulaura Upazila in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh on June 4.
The Christian Religious Welfare Trust of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Bangladesh organized the program.
Christian Religious Welfare Trust is a government-owned trust that works for the welfare of the Christian community of the country.
Established in 2044, it is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is under the authority of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Bishop Sarat Francis Gomez of the Catholic Church of Sylhet was the chief guest and opened the seminar.
Other special guests were Joy Dutta Barua, Secretary, Christian Religious Welfare Trust, and Oblate Priest Joseph Gomez, chairman, Justice, and Peace Commission, Sylhet division.
Nirmal Rosario, a resource person, outlined the goals, objectives and significance of the workshop.
Bishop Gomez spoke on the role of priests, pastors and religious leaders in building interfaith harmony and coexistence.
Father Brian Gomez, parish priest at Mogaipar highlighted the role and duties of the priests, pastors, and religious leaders in the spiritual care of the Christians.
This was followed by an open discussion, a final prayer, and a luncheon.
Participants and speakers stressed the promotion of love, solidarity and fraternity which are present in all religions.
Every religion speaks of human love. At present, due to a lack of human love, various misdeeds including violence and unrest are taking place, said Father Brian.
According to him, many Christians are drifting away from witnessing their faith due to a lack of pastoral care and many families are in turmoil.
Parents, youth people and children need pastoral care, he said.
Those who are educated and well-placed in society are to support and contribute to the well-being of society and the education of others, said the priest.
Participants also envisioned a way forward for the pastoral care of Christians and accompanying Christians in their welfare and spiritual progress.
As many as 155 priests, pastors, and religious leaders of all the churches of the Sylhet division attended the seminar.
Every religion must be respected. In all religions, whatever is said to be true, beautiful and loving must be accepted, said Rony Sarkar, a participant.
“Seminars like this are needed at present. As a result of this seminar, I hope the spirituality of the Christian community will be much better,” added Sarkar. - Mary Anna Gomes/RVA Bangali
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