Annual Pastoral Assembly of Chittagong Archdiocese held in Bandarban Pastoral Center from 18-20 January 2018 based on the theme: “Pilgrimage of faith in 500 years: Heritage- Celebration- Renewal”. This year the Archdiocese is celebrating the 500 years of faith which was inaugurated earlier on December 10, 2017.
The assembly was inaugurated with the exposition of the bible and a short prayer. New priests and religious in the Archdiocese were also welcomed by offering flowers in the opening ceremony of the assembly. All the parishes presented their activities according to the pastoral plan of 2017 right after a short statistical presentation of the respective parishes. After a general discussion, Archbishop Moses said that, the reports from the parishes were satisfactory but it is very important to stick to the pastoral plan. The pastoral plan should not be mixed with the regular activities of the parishes. In the evening there was a meditative prayer where the participants spent time in silence.
On the next day the pastoral theme of the year was presented by three speakers. Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa- Pastoral Coordinator of the Archdiocese presented the Heritage of the Archdiocese; Fr. Terence Rodrigues- parish priest of Cathedral presented the reasons of Celebration and Most Rev. Moses M. Costa, csc- Archbishop of Chittagong presented the renewal of faith and mission. It is combined the pastoral letter of the Archbishop for the year. Based on this presentation and some questions given by the archbishop all the participants worked in groups to identify the heritage and develop the pastoral plan of their respective parishes. In the evening, a meaningful rosary prayer starting from the SMRA sister house ended in front of Fatima Rani Grotto. After the dinner, there was a short and enthusiastic cultural program to boost up the spirit of the participants.
On the last day of the assembly, the summary of the group discussion was presented by all the parishes on a common format. Based on these discussions some common task and pastoral activities were proposed. The pastoral assembly came to an end with a holy Eucharistic, celebrated by the Archbishop. In the Eucharistic an oath was recited by the participants. Total 115 people consisting of 1 Archbishop, 20 priests, 4 brothers, 20 sisters and 70 laity from 11 parishes and 1 sub-parish participated in this year’s pastoral assembly. Alongside of the Archbishop of Chittagong there were also present: Fr. Gordon Dias- vicar general of the Archdiocese; Bro. Bijoy Harold, csc- Superior General of Holy Cross Brothers; Sr. Mary Minoti, SMRA- Provincial Superior of SMRA sisters.