Pastoral Assembly was held in Miriam Ashram Diang Parish on 29 June 2018. The assembly was well attended by 126 parishioners. Parish priest Fr. Sushanto D’Costa; Archdiocesan Pastoral Coordinator Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa, Headmaster of Miriam Ashram High School Bro. Mantrajoy Tripura, csc, Sr. Bibiana, RNDM and Archdiocesan Development Executive Mr. Mickey Paul Gonsalves were also present in the assembly.
Diang is one of the 1st places of Bangladesh where Christian settlements were made in 16th century. It’s also the place where one of the 1st Churches of Bangladesh were build. Because of their faith 600 Christians were persecuted by the Arakanese soldiers. Some of the Portuguese descendant families still live in Diang. Servant of God Brother Flavian laplante, csc turned Diang into a Miriam Pilgrim Spot. Thousand of devotees come and visit the Miriam Ashram to attend the Miriam Pilgrimage every year.
Though Christianity in Diang has a very long history but it was declared a parish only in 2009 and the new Church was blessed. Presently there are 716 Catholic Christians living in Diang.
The pastoral assembly begin with the Holy Mass offered by Fr. Sushanto. The main session of the assembly began after the mass. The assembly was decorated based on the Catholic Action: ‘See-Judge-Act’. In the first part participants shared their community life. Their sharing was focused on the joy being in the parish as the pastoral theme of the previous year: ‘My parish- My Joy’.
Pastoral Coordinator of Chittagong Archdiocese Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa presented his keynote speech on the annual pastoral theme ‘Pilgrimage of faith in 500 years: Heritage- Celebration- Renewal’. He explained on the rich heritage of Church in Chittagong, spiritual and development aspects since the inception and new journey of the mission of the Church with renewed hope.
After the speech the participants were divided in 4 groups and every group discussed on some programs that can be undertaken by the parish in this year of mission. The parishioners reflected some times to finalize the parish pastoral plan. A detailed plan will be undertaken by the parish pastoral council to implement the proposals.