His Holiness Pope Francis called the Church to journey together so that the Church renews
Her identity as the communion of the communities. To reflect on the synodal call of the Holy Father, the theme for the Annual Marian Pilgrimage for 2022 was set to “Towards building communities of communion: Mary, Queen of the Apostles.” which took place in Miriam Ashram, Diang during 10-11 February and participated by about two thousands pilgrims.
“This year the pilgrimage marked its 47th years! Due to the covid 19, the pilgrims were lesser than the usual number. After all, many devotees came to pray and thank the Mary of Diang. We tried to organize the pilgrimage following the government’s covid 19 guidelines.” Said Brother Sylvester Mridha, CSC who has been coordinating the event for more than 15 years.
On Thursday, 10 February, pilgrims took part in a Eucharistic celebration which was the final day of the novena that started on 2 February. The pastor of Shanti Rani Catholic Church, Alikadam was the main celebrant of the mass. Eucharistic adoration took part at 8.30 pm followed by the blessing of the newly built Rosary Garden at Diang. The Rosary Garden is a dream of Bro. Binoy Stephen Gomes, CSC to facilitate people for effective reflection and meditation while praying the rosary. It was inaugurated with the incomplete establishment by Late Archbishop Moses Costa, CSC of Chattogram in 2019 during the fifth centenary jubilee of the arrival of Christian faith in Chattogram. Pilgrims took part in a rosary prayer there followed by the blessing ceremony.
“We missed the candlelit procession across the village of Diang which was suspended due to the spread of covid 19. Praying rosary at the rosary garden touched me. Though the devotees came in lesser number this year, I believe that they are spiritually connected with the Diang pilgrimage and cannot miss praying with us to the mother of Diang. I am seeking the mediation of Mother Mary so that the whole world gets away from the covid 19 pandemic.” Said Baby Quiah (47) who is a mother of three.
The Solemn Eucharistic Celebration was held at 10 am on Friday, 11 February. The Vicar General, Fr. Leonard C. Rebeiro presided over the mass along with 10 priests. Archbishop of Chattogram, Most Rev. Lawrence S. Howlader, CSC was supposed to preside over the mass but was caught by covid 19 recently and was kept in isolation.