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Italian missionary works over four decades among ethnic minorities in Bangladesh

Father Carlo Buzzi, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Bangladesh at Ave Maria Church, Gulta in Sirajgonj on April 23 (Photo: Father Nikhil Gomes)

Father Carlo Buzzi, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), works in Bangladesh, primarily among the poor and ethnic minorities.

Father Buzzi has spent 47 years of his life in Bangladesh, especially in the Rajshahi dioceses in the northern part of the country.

An Italian missionary in Bangladesh for over four decades, he made a unique contribution to the Bangladesh church to help children, the poor, needy and ethnic people.

A missionary priest lives his faith and bears witness to it in building schools, helping the poor and creating a parish in Sirajgonj (central zone).

Father Buzzi arrived in Bangladesh on January 10, 1975, four years after the impoverished South Asian nation gained independence from Pakistan.

Father Carlo Buzzi began his mission in the interior village of Sirajganj town, a river port on the banks of the Jamuna. Belkuchi is a sub-parish under Ave Maria Church at Gulta that has some 827 Catholics.

Father has a good heart for the poor and needy children, which is why he is always busy running four pre-primary schools and an education sponsorship program for children and adults in Sirajganj town.

Father Buzzi arrived in Gulta Parish in 1997 and soon became aware of the presence of ethnic Garo Catholics in Belkuchi who had migrated from the north-central Mymensingh Diocese to escape poverty. They have been employed in local weaving and apparel factories since 1980.

The priest built a tin shed for local Catholics to gather and worship, naming it Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. He also organized them into a community village named after Sister Sueva, a Bangladeshi Garo nun martyred by rebels in Sierra Leone, West Africa, in 1999.

The priest was born on April 6, 1943, in the Varese district of Italy and he was ordained a priest on Dec. 21, 1968.

He runs 20 schools for children and illiterate adults, operated 48 rice banks for poor farmers, some 20 silk-worm cultivation and weaving centers for women and won over 200 court cases involving land disputes.

In the town of Sirajganj many quarter schools for poor children, adult women, and a night school for boys and girls were working during the day.

Father Carlo Buzzi and Father Nikhil Gomes are together in front of Ave Maria Church in Gulta.

At the same time, he was supporting the Mission in Gulta Parish, where he started 25 feeding schools in different villages.

Father Buzzi said, “From the very beginning, I emphasized education because without education people will not develop and nothing will be sustainable.”

Last month on April 23, 2022, when I was on holidays, I visited  Father Carlo and I had a long discussion with him about his missionary work. He said, “I always give priority to the faith formation of the people and education of the children.”

From my missionary work experience in Bangladesh, I would like to say, we need to take care of needy and poor people and encourage them to develop their families.

 “I want to stay in Bangladesh and live with the needy and poor people as long as I am alive. I should be buried at the place where I die, this is my last wish,” said the priest.

Now Father Carlo Buzzi is the Parish priest of Ave Maria Church, Gulta, Sirajgonj in Bangladesh. - Nikhil Gomes


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