|A quotation on 'history' by Edmund Burke, compiled by Jerome D'Costa|
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Father Silvano Garello, S.X.: A Relentless Advocate and Producer of Christian Literature in Bangladesh - 2
|Father Silvano Garello, S.X., looking at a photo of Father Mario Veronesi, S.X., who had been killed in 1971 by West Pakistani soldiers at Jessore, Bangladesh. He wrote about Father Veronesi in several of his books.|
|Father Garello in front of some of his published items in Dhaka|
Effort for Setting Up Small Religious Libraries Among the Catholics
Father Silvano Garello, with Father Pio Mattevi, S.X., Director of the National Social and Catechetical Training Centre in Jessore, Bangladesh, has been striving for the last few years and have been successful in getting small religious libraries established in some Catholic parish houses, Religious Communities houses, youth hostels, Catholic NGOs, Religious Formation houses as well as in private homes. So far, about 100 such libraries exist. These libraries buy and collect books on the Bible, catechesis (teaching of religion), liturgy and prayers, spirituality and meditation, Mariology, Papal documents, Lives of Saints, Catholic faith, and the like.
Since 1973, Father Garello has been writing articles and books in Italian, too. His articles appeared in Fede e Civilta (Faith and Civilization, which later got renamed Missionari Saveriani (Xaverian Missionaries), Populi e Missione (People and Mission), and Mondo e Missione (World and Mission) -- all published from Italy.
He also contributed for some photography books on Bangladesh (published in Italy), provided commentary in some Italian documentary films, and produced some colour slide programmes for Italian schools.
Father Silvano Garello’s Italian-language books, published in Italy
1. Morire tra gli oppressi: testimonianza evangelica di Mario Veronesi missionario in Bangladesh (Dying Among the Oppressed: an evangelical witness of Mario Veronesi, a missionary in Bangladesh), Bologna: EMI (Editrice Missionaria Italiana), 1973.
2. Morte e vita in Bangladesh: diario liberazione (Death and Life in Bangladesh: a diary on the liberation [of Bangladesh in 1971]), Bologna: EMI, 1974.
3. Il Pozzo Profondo (The Deep Well) (a biography of Father Valeriano Cobbe, S.X. killed in Bangladesh in 1974), EMI, 1975.
4. Cento villaggi per Serafino: Serafino Dalla Vecchia (Hundred Villages for Serafino: Serafino Dalla Vecchia) (work of Father Serafino Dalla Vecchia, an apostle to the muchis or Rishis – leather workers – in Bangladesh), Parma: Missionari Saveriani, 1978.
5. Alla ricerca dei Cristiani in Cina (In Search of Christians in China), (a travelogue), EMI: 1978.
6. Sotto il sole, sotto la pioggia: vita missionaria in Sierra Leone (Under the Sun, In the Rain: missionary life in Sierra Leone), EMI, 1979.
7. La strada di Titute: P. Giambattista Collini, missionario in Cina e Sierra Leone (The Road to Titute: Father Giambattista Collini, a missionary in China and Sierra Leone), EMI: 1979.
8. Dalla foce alle sorgenti del Gange (From the Mouth to the Source of the Ganges River) (missionary experience in Bangladesh and Nepal), EMI, 1984.
9. La tigre ingrate e alter favole del Bengala (The Ungrateful Tiger and Other Tales of Bengal), (a selection of Bengali tales for the Italian children), EMI, 1988.
1. La campana ferita (The Wound Bell), (travel in Tibet and discovery of the ‘Bell of Lhasa’), Vicenza: Esca, 1987.
1. Breve viaggio nella Perestroika (A Short Trip to Perestroika), (travel to new Russia), Vicenza: Lief, 1988.
1. Bangladesh terra del Servo sofferente (Bangladesh: The Land of the Suffering Servant), Vicenza: Lief, 1988 and 1992.
1. Sapore di Vangelo Bengalese (The Taste of the Bengalee Gospel), (the transforming power of the Gospel in Bangladesh), Vicenza: Lief, 1992.
1. Braccia spalancate e cuore trafitto: la testimonianza evangelica di P. Mario Veronesi missionario in Bangladesh (The Open Arms and Pierced Heart: the evangelical testimony of Father Mario Veronesi, a missionary in Bangladesh ), Vicenza: EMI, 1996.
1. Una pagina del prodigi di Dio (One Page of the Wonders of God), (life of Blessed Guido Maria Conforti, founder of the Xaverian Missionaries), Parma: Missionari Saveriani.
1. Il pozzo Profondo: L’Avventura bengalese di p. Valeriano Cobbe (The Deep Well: Father Valeriano Cobbe’s Adventure Among the Bengalees), (he was killed in Bangladesh in for his interreligious farmers’ cooperative work), EMI: New Edition, 1997)
1. Dietro a lui correndo, zoppicando. Sentieri di Missione in Asia (Behind Him Running, Limping: Paths of Mission in Asia), (ways of missionary activities in Asia), Brescia: CSAM, 2001.
1. La storia di natale (The Christmas Story), Padua: Imprimedia Edizioni, 2004. (This book has been translated and published in Bengali, too).
Father Silvano Garello’s achievement is the production of the sheer volume of Christian religious and spiritual books and publications in varied categories. He is an example of an ardent publisher in face of many constraints – irregular flow of finance, paucity of properly-groomed local manpower for the print media, lack of required support from Church personnel -- in Bangladesh. His books, although require more attention to local language standard, have creative designs in production and a high quality of printing and binding. He will go down in local Church history as a person who wanted to zealously evangelize in all corners of the country using locally-produced Christian literature, when there’s still a dearth of such literature in Bangladesh.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Father Silvano Garello, S.X.: A Relentless Advocate and Producer of Christian Literature in Bangladesh - 1
|Father Silvano Garello, S.X. at the Xaverian House in Dhaka|
|Father Garello at his desk in Dhaka checking a newly-printed book|
Father Silvano Garello, S.X., an Italian member of the Xaverian Missionaries society, is dedicated to producing Bengali-language Christian literature in Bangladesh since 1989. So far, he published 175 books and booklets for priests, the Religious, children, students, and lay men and women.
Father Garello, with a French-cut beard and a mysterious smile, is a short but stout priest, who has been a missionary in Bangladesh for the last 37 years. This bello persona (handsome person) is now of 75 years of age, yet he looks like he is in his early 60s.
Born at Valdagno of Vicenza in Italy on December 31, 1938, he completed his Secondary School studies at the Missionary Institute in Vicenza and Classical Studies (Italian, Latin and Greek) at Desio of Milan. After completion of his theological studies at Parma, he was ordained a priest on October 25, 1964. Then he taught at a secondary school and pursued some more studies at Padua on Pastoral Liturgy. Finally, he studied English in London, U.K.
A Missionary to Bangladesh
On his arrival in East Pakistan (later called Bangladesh) in October of 1970, he worked in the Catholic parishes of Khulna, Satkhira and Borodol of Khulna Diocese. He witnessed the devastating cyclone of November 12 that same year in the coastal areas of the country. In the following year, 1971, he saw for himself the atrocities and barbarity unleashed by the West Pakistani armed forces on unarmed East Pakistanis. His experience of the nine-month-long dreadful and oppressive situation has found expression in several of his Italian-language books, later published in Italy.
In 1974, Father Garello returned to Italy for studies in Missiology at the Gregoriana University in Rome. He concluded his studies with a thesis, named Guru-Sissho [Teacher-Disciple] Relationship in Inter-Religious Context. He thinks that this method of evangelization in Bangladesh would be most fruitful. In addition, he edited the missionary magazine Fede e Civilta (Faith and Civilization) – the Xaverian mission magazine -- and produced some Italian-language books and audiovisual programmes.
On his return to Bangladesh in 1980, he served as the rector of the St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary in Khulna town and, at the same time, did pastoral work in the local parish church.
Publisher of Christian Literature in Bengali
From 1989 to 1996, he was at the Xaverian House in Dhaka editing the Mongolbarta (Good News), a bimonthly in Bengali, and publishing Catholic books in Bengali.
In 1996, Father Garello was away to Jerusalem for a year on a Bible Study sojourn. In 1997, he was on a three-year inter-religious experience, called hridoy gothon (formation of the heart) at Noluakuri village in Mymensingh District.
From 2002 onwards he has been involved full-time in Dhaka in publishing Catholic religious and spiritual books and booklets in Bengali on behalf of the National Social and Catechetical Social Training Centre of Jessore. So far, he has published 175 books and booklets.
He also helped significantly in coordinating and bringing out the Second Vatican Council Documents, Catechism of the Catholic Church and some papal encyclicals in Bengali.
Although all do not share with his view of having a strong biblical (Bible-based) apostolate in Bangladesh, he is quite emphatic about it. He published a good number of books based on the Bible and its teachings. He is also quite vocal about inculturation in Bangladesh. He wants to see the use of the local mother tongue (especially, Bengali) in translating books and the Bible (the Bible, in the mean time, although late, has been translated at the initiative of the Italian Benedictine monk Father Carlo Rubini, O.S.B. in the Diocese of Khulna) and in doing theological studies at the Major Seminary. He also urges missionaries and priests to write more books based on their mature experience and learning.
A Glance at Some of the 175 Bengali Books Published in Bangladesh So Far
The following are a few samples of his work in publishing. He himself along with some Bangladeshi Catholics translate and write books. He does the final editing and plans the layout and design of the books.
1. Guido Conforti: Xaverian Shomprodayer Protishthata (Guido Conforti: Founder of the Xaverian Missionary Society), (1982)
2. Bangladesher Teen Bondhu (Three Friends of Bangladesh – Father Mario Veornesi, S.X., Father Valeriano Cobbe, S.X., and Father Serafino Dalla Vecchia, S.X.), (1982)
3. Christo Mondolir Itihashey Naari (Women in the Church History), (1995)
5. Christojaag Thekey Christomondoli (Ecclesia de Eucharistia -- From the Holy Eucharist to the Church) (Encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II on the Eucharist), (2003)
7. Doridrader Kacchey Mongolshomachar (A Gospel to the Poor),(Commentary on the Gospel of Luke), (2005)
8. Jibon Baani: Mongolbartar Ashchorjya Kaaj (Handbook for Biblical Apostolate and Spirituality), (2007)
Sunday, June 9, 2013
|A quotation on 'vision' by Jonathan Swift, compiled by Jerome D'Costa|
Photo (A view through a screened window of an apartment in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Nov. 6, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa
Thursday, June 6, 2013
|Brother Donald Joseph Becker, C.S.C., a missionary in Bangladesh for 56 years|
Photo (Brothers' Residence at Mohammadpur, Dhaka: January 22, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa
Brother Donald Joseph Becker, CSC (1932-2013), a US member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, died on April 25 this year of advanced-age complications at the residence of the Brothers of Holy Cross at Mohammadpur of Dhaka. He was buried in the Christian cemetery at Wari, Dhaka.
A missionary for 56 years, he is popularly known as “Brother Donald.” He was diminutive but active person all his life. Due to the burden of his age, he became gaunt, yet his lingering smile that he always wore did not fade ever.
Born in Quincy, Illinois, USA, on April 23, 1932, Brother Donald entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1952. He received his B.Sc. degree in Biology in 1955 from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. In the same year, he took his final vows as a Brother.
In 1957, Brother Donald went to the then East Pakistan (since 1971, called Bangladesh) as a missionary and continued his service until his death.
He taught at St. Gregory’s High School in Dhaka in the 1960s and 1970s. For many years he was involved with St. Joseph’s School of Industrial Trades at Narinda. He was a pioneer of technical and vocational training in Bangladesh. He also served as the first Director of the Technical School Project of Caritas Bangladesh and as a staff of the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Centre for Addicts (BARACA) between 1983 and 1994.
He supervised construction of many buildings belonging to the Brothers of Holy Cross. He was “always concerned about how to do good construction work at a low cost.” He also helped Brother Ronald Drahozal, CSC, in the construction of the APON (Ashokti Purnorbashon Nibash), a residence and centre for drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation in Dhaka.
He had a profound love for Bangladesh. At the last stage of his life in 2012, he was in the USA for rest and health check-up. He first refused to undergo some needed medical procedures, but upon his Superior’s insistence, he relented. His condition did not improve much and he was told to stay in the USA for the rest of his life. He declined and coaxed his Superior to allow him to return to Bangladesh, where he died a few months later.
Brother Binoy Gomes, CSC, former Provincial of the Holy Cross Brothers in Bangladesh, says: “He was a member of our [Bangladesh] Province. He wanted to live and die in Bangladesh…. He liked to be one of us.”
Brother Donald was well-known for his austere and simple life-style, which was a reflection of the vow of poverty that he took so seriously. Ajmal Sobhan, a former Muslim student of St. Gregory’s High School in Dhaka and a long-time friend of the Brother, writes: “Brother Donald was a simple man and lived a very ‘Spartan’ life. I have rarely ever seen him wear something new. He wore give-away clothing which had been sewn and repaired many times over.”
Ajmal Sobhan further writes: “His [Brother Donald’s] only true passion was trekking and hiking. It was my fortune to have been able to share with him the passion of trekking and hiking. He was the person who introduced me to both [of] these vocations.” Brother Donald bicycled the lengths and breadths of Bangladesh with Brother Ronald Drahozal, CSC.
Assessing Brother Donald’s life, Brother Binoy Gomes, CSC, says: “He was a man of work and prayer. He wanted to work up to the last day of his life. At times, I had a hard time to find work for him! I rarely saw him missing morning and evening prayers and Mass as well as mediation. He was a role for all of us.”
Ajmal Sobhan writes: “Brother Donald is an example of a man who has given everything in life for the poor in Bangladesh. He had no material desire and he was a compassionate and kind-hearted individual. At the same time, he was not critical of people who lived a life of conspicuous consumption. If anyone could come close to Mohandas Gandhi [Mahatma Gandhi] in principles and daily living, it would be Brother Donald.”