Saturday, September 25, 2010

Flirting With the Past: National Social Catechetical Training Centre, Jessore, Bangladesh (1980's)

It was February, 1983. I wrote a book in Bangla (Bengali) on Christian Religion for Christian (Catholic and Protestant) students of grades 9 and 10 in Bangladesh. It was a study aid book, called Christan Dharmashikkha Shahayika, dealing with the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Several years later, the Director of the National Social Catechetical Training Centre of Jessore (this centre trains catechists, religion teachers, and social leaders) invited me to give talks to a group of high school Christian Religion teachers who were being given special training on teaching religion. I was to let them know how to effectively use my book in teaching religion to their students.

That was the first time I was in the Centre. The facilities and administration of the Centre impressed me. I especially liked the Catholic religious artworks spread around in different buildings. During the course of my two-day stay there, I took photos of the Centre.

After all these years, I am sharing some of these photos with you.

The General Hall of the Centre is used for training
The beautiful garden is good for a time of prayer, meditation and silence

Administrative offices and trainees' living rooms
are housed in the Main Building

Some of the trainees in the classroom

Other trainees in the class
Assistant Director Father Albino Khokon Sarker (left, 2nd row), Father
Joseph S. Peixotto, C.S.C. (another speaker -- 6th from left, back row) and
Sister M. Bruno, C.S.C. (Administrator of the Centre -- 2nd from right,
back row) with the group of Religion teacher trainees

Father Joseph S. Peixotto, C.S.C. (middle) and Father Albino Khokon
Sarker are offering Holy Mass for the trainees

A beautiful stained glass

Another stained glass with Bangla words ("Forgive us our tresspasses")
taken from the Lord's Prayer

A stained glass with the Bangla words "Deliver us from evil."

A stained glass with words "Holy be thy name."

Another stained glass with the words "Let Thy kingdom come."

A batik print on the Last Supper of Christ with his twelve disciples

A batik print depicting the crucifixion of Christ

A batik print depicting the birth of Jesus

A batik print on Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus' flight to Egypt
 The Madonna (Baby Jesus with his mother Mary)

A batik print on the Fiat (Mary's acceptance of Angel Gabriel's
announcement that Jesus would be born of her womb)

A beautiful mosaic of the Holy Trinity adorns
the altar section of the chapel

A painting on the scourging of Christ

This Centre also publishes a bimonthly magazine, called Mongolbarta (Good News), that deals with the Bible and Catholic Church teachings on faith.

Mongolbarta (Good News) bimonthly
(Sept.-Oct, 2005) issue

Religious and spiritual book publishing, under the direction of Dhaka-based Father Silvano Garello, S.X., is also another important work of this Centre. So far, it has published more than 100 books and booklets. Two samples of these books are shown below:

Guido Conforti: Xaverian Shomprodayer Protishthata(Guido Conforti: Founder of the Xaverian Society)

Bangladesher Teen Bondhu (Three Friends of Bangladesh)
by Father G. Silvano (Silvano Garello, S.X.)

 To know more on the publications of this Centre, you may click on the following:

(Updated on November 30, 2013)

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