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Priestly Ordination celebrated near Bangladesh Border

By Father Nirmal Toppo S.D.B.
Rev. Joseph Gomes ordaining Deac. Banti Mondol in the village chapel of Baliura, under Maliapota parish, diocese of Krishnagar, W. Bengal
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Kolkata, Jan. 2. The tiny steps that had stepped into the apostolic boarding school of the province in the early nineties, rose firmly towards the altar as Deacon Banti Martin Mondol was ordained a priest on December 30, 2017 at Holy Family Catholic Church of Baliura, merely ten minutes walking distance from Bangladesh border.
Joseph Suren Gomes D.D., the Bishop of Krishnagar administered the sacrament in the Church full of the faithful, friends, relatives, nuns and 52 priests. In his homily the bishop stressed on God's presence in priesthood and said, ''God will show you the path and walk with you. All that you need to do is to make sacrifices that He asks of you and choose Jesus above all.''

The congregation joyfully participated in the service enhancing the celebration with traditional Bengali hymns and liturgical dances. The episcopal minister himself enriched his words with melodious rendition of a classical hymn.

Father Banti celebrated his ordination in gratitude as he self-effacingly thanked every person who had helped him in his formative years. The newly ordained expressed deep gratitude to his parents, formators and benefactors, particularly Mamma Luigina for the help in the childhood and early schooling days.

Singling out one name Father Banti said, ''Here I want to make a special mention of Sr Tarcisia. It was she who implanted in me that seed of vocation as a little boy in one of the catechism classes. Thank you dear sister for the prayerful support I received from then onward.''

The congregation smiled in agreement as Father Banti acknowledged God's blessings to the parish of Maliapota, under which comes Baliura village,  that has  the highest number of priests in the diocese of Krishnagar.  Fr Banti is the tenth priest.
Speaking about the beginning of the Christian community in Bant's home village, Mr Jiskel Sarkar, one time catechist of the village said, ''There were five catholic families in this locality when the first mud chapel was built which eventually was made into a pukka one in 1964 by Father Luciano Colussi of happy memories.''  Today the village of Baliura has over 200 catholic families,  still functioning as a substation of the parish.

The parish of Maliapota, a seed bed of vocations has gifted the church with 25 religious nuns and six Salesians - Frs David Mondol, Soroj Mullick, Lalu Mondol, Br Lawrence Mondal, Brother Sushanto Biswas and Father Banti Mondol.
The newly ordained would celebrate his first Mass on the following day in the same church, came the announcement as the crowd dispersed for the concluding the part of the celebration - family meal prepared for over a 1500 people.  


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