Greetings from Mathbari Parish. We started the year 2023 with a solemn liturgy celebrated by Rev. George Kamal Rozario, CSC. In the liturgy, our sixty-five children took their first Communion with great enthusiasm and the church was filled with parishioners. Hence, as the old tradition of the Bhawal region, we organized a Eucharistic procession on January 22, 2023. More than a thousand parishioners attended this procession. All the children who received the first communion at the beginning of the year were at the procession with their First Communion dresses. Rev. Father James Clement Cruze, CSC ministered the whole liturgy. Rev. Fr. Uzzal L. Rozario, CSC, Fr. Count Rozario, CSC, SMRA Sisters from St. Monica Convent, Mathbari were directing the liturgy. At the same, our Sisumongal animators, members of Upashona porishod, and delegates from all of our villages actively participated in this liturgy.
In the month of February, we solemnly celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes since our parish grotto is dedicated to her. We started a nine-day novena Mass and prayer on February 1, 2023, and feast day was celebrated on February 10, 2023. More than 1500 people from the parish as well as from our neighboring parishes attended the liturgy. Rev. Father Milton Denis Corraya was the main celebrant for the Mass. During the Mass, we prayed especially for the sick and suffering and for their healing. After the Mass, we blessed and anointed every faithful with the healing oil, which was blessed during the Mass. Moreover, we organized a exposure program for all members of Upashoan Porishod and Shisumongal animators to Pirgacha, St. Paul Catholic Church and 35 members attended in this exposure program. We learnt and experience many things form this program.
Furthermore, as we started the holy season of Lent on February 22, 2023, in the mother Church, we arranged Masses, Confessional, and Way of the Cross at every single village in our parish along with the active participation of the villagers. These liturgies provided adequate opportunities for the faithful to deepen their faith and strengthen their moral and social life. Additionally, we organized three different seminars during this season of Lent. One for our Shiumongal on February 17, 2023, where about 400 children attended. There was a live way of the cross competitions among the children of different villages, quiz competition, as well as hearing confessions of the children. Secondly, we organized a YCS seminar on February 24, 2023, at our North Bashanai village chapel. About 170 students attended the program. There was a way of the cross, Mass, a talk on the theme by Father Pronoy A. Gomes, CSC, and hearing confession. Hence, our central Jobo Shomity organized a youth seminar and about 100 participants from our parish attended this program. The program started with Sunday Mass followed by a talk on the theme and hearing confession. The goal for all of these programs was to strengthen the Catholic faith and morals among these particular groups of people as well as to make them church-going. All of these programs were fruitful and effective to some extent as our assessment shows.