“I am honoured that God has called me in this vocation to serve in His vineyard. In 1997 I was sent to Oriental Institute, Barishal to attend a 2-month-long “Catechetical Training Program”. While I was leaving my family my son was 2 and a half years old. He was insisting on me so that I take him along with which was no way possible.  I assured him that we were soon going to meet again and would bring new clothes and toys on my return.”

Said 53 years old Ananda Tripura during the personal life-sharing session in a Training of Catechists and Prayer Leaders held on 26 April-2 May 2023 in Fiat Pastoral Centre, Bandarban. He continued,

“But God has taken my son away while I was having the training! During those days

Ananda Tripura, Catechist

there was no telephone or cellular network in Chattogram Hill Tracts. My son was buried long before I received the news. I came back home but my little son was not there whom I was eager to meet again. I won’t forget this pain. I cried just for once and surrendered to the will of God. I always reflected that my dolour is no greater than that of Mary who saw her son being crucified for the whole human race. God gave me 6 sons afterwards. Among them, the eldest is now a seminarian. I pray to God so that he fulfils His will with my eldest son.”

Ananda has been serving as a catechist for the last 33 years in Chattogram Hill Tracts and is presently being posted in Shanti Raj Catholic Church, Thanchi under Bandarban district. 23 catechists like Ananda Tripura participated in the training program who are mainly responsible for evangelization and catechesis in specific blocks covering several villages. 18 prayer leaders joined with them who are responsible for faith formation in the hard-to-reach villages. Archdiocesan Commission for Catechesis and Biblical Apostolate and Commission for Evangelization and PMS jointly organized the program which was supported by the Diocesan Pastoral Service Team.

The six days program was divided into three parts, nine historical books from the Old Testament, evangelization and synodal Church. In the first part, Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator Mr. Manik Willver D Costa was the trainer for the subjects “Overview of the old testament books, highlights of the historical books”, Books of “Joshua, Judges and Chronicles 2”. Well-known biblical theologian and Scripture Professor of Holy Spirit Major Seminary Rev. Patrick Simon Gomes was the trainer for the books “Ruth, Samuel 1 & 2, Kings 1 & 2”. Diocesan Priest Rev. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira who is also the Diocesan Financial Administrator conducted a session on the book of “Chronicles 1”. To make the lessons interactive, there were movie shows on films ‘The Fall of Jericho’, ‘Sampson’, ‘Ruth’, and ‘David and Goliath’. Participants were divided into 5 groups for completing assignments every day digging much of these 9 books.

Resource: (Left-Right) Manik Willver D Costa, Fr. Patrick Simon Gomes, Fr. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira, Archbishop Lawrence S. Howlader, Fr. Binoy S. Gomes, Khunthairoy Tripura, Fr. Rodon Hadima, Fr. Nicholas Nokrek

In the second part, the subjects taught and resource persons were “Synodal Church: Communion-Participation-Mission”- Archbishop of Chattogram Most Rev. Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC; “Communion in the synodal Church”- Parish Priest of Bandarban Rev. Binoy Sebastian Gomes, CSC; “Enlarge the space of your tent”- Rev. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira; and “Act of mission in the synodal Church”- Secretary of Diocesan Pastoral Service Team Mr. Khunthairoy Francis Tripura. The subjects taught and their resource persons respectively during the third part were “Evangelization and transmission of faith as a missionary Church in the light of Church teaching”- Vice Rector of Holy Spirit Major Seminary and former National Director of PMS Rev. Rodon Hadima; “Evangelization in the life of the Church and Catechists”- Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa; “Specific directions for evangelization in the modern world in light of the ‘Joy of Gospel’”- Parish Priest of Thanchi Rev. Nicholas Nokrek, CSC.

Team Members: (Left-Right) Sr. Zita Rema, Sr. Mamata Palma, Flevian D’Costa, Julian D’Costa

The training program came to an end with a Eucharistic Celebration sacrificed by the Diocesan Assistant Pastoral Coordinator Rev. Sumon Peter Costa, CSC and the presentation of the certificate of completion. Diocesan Pastoral Service Team will continue the training on the rest of the biblical books both from the Old and New Testaments till 2025. Each year 4 programs will be organized, 2 in Chattogram plain land area and 2 programs in the hill tracts area.


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