The first profession of four novices from Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, Bangladesh, was held on March 18, 2022, at Holy Cross Novitiate, Barishal. They are Mr. Arpon Clement Costa, CSC, Tomilia Parish, Mr. Pritom Fidelis Ritchil, CSC, from Srimangal Parish, and Mr. Shuvo Anthony Rozario, CSC, from Doripara Parish, and Mr. Soikot Clement Palma, CSC, from Mathurapur Parish. The Profession ceremony was held at the Chapel of Pastoral and Retreat Centre, Oriental Institute, Sagardi, Barishal.
Since the pandemic situation is much better now, therefore, the parents and a limited number of their relatives were invited to this occasion. Novice Master, Fr. Elias Palma, CSC, along with other Priests offered a Thanksgiving Mass in the evening on 17 March as a preparation for their First Profession. `” You are offered to God like Jesus”, said Fr. Elias. He thanked the parents and the families of the Novices for their sacrifice for offering their beloved sons to God as a living sacrifices.
On 18 March, Friday 2022, Rev. George Kamal Rozario, CSC, Provincial of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, was the main celebrant of the Eucharist and received their vows during the Mass. Some local Priests and Religious Sisters from different Congregations were also present at the ceremony. “Religious life is a holy life”, said Fr. George in the homily. “It’s a mystery but we unveil the mystery with our hearts. The Vow reproduces love that binds us in unity. And our call is to be humble.’’
After the Mass, there was a reception ceremony in honor of the newly professed Novices. Both the Novice masters delivered their speeches. The Novices and the Provincial express gratitude and expectation accordingly. Mrs. Mary Purification, mother of Mr. Arpon shared her feelings and expectation on behalf of the parents of the Novices. She said: “I bless you all and assure you that we shall pray for you every day for your sanctity. “Afterwards, there was a simple meal but in a festive mood, traditionally observing the Lenten Season in Bangladesh.
Before this, there was an eight-day closing Retreat from 08 to 15 March 2022, for their final preparation. Rev. Edmond Cruze, CSC, preached the Retreat on the theme: `A Call to Discipleship as Holy Cross Religious.’ It was a very good time for the novices to reflect once again on their vocation in Holy Cross.