Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Quotation of the Week (June 30-July 6, 2013)

A quotation of Lao Tzu on 'great acts,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (The Sun, 2011): Courtesy: Oasis TV

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Friday, June 28, 2013

The Toronto Sun Columnist Terms Pakistan the Ground Zero of International Terrorism

Tarek Fatah's June 26, 2013 column in the Toronto Sun
Image courtesy: Toronto Sun (Toronto, Canada)

Tarek Fatah, a Pakistan-born Canadian and a columnist for the Toronto Sun weekly, in a recent column terms Pakistan as the “ground zero of international terrorism.” 

He writes: “It seems Israel and America are blind beyond Iran. While Iran possesses no nuclear warheads, it is considered the primary threat to world peace. On the other hand, Pakistan, with an arsenal of more than 100 nukes, continues to be fed billions of American dollars while Israel seems oblivious to Islamabad’s threat."

He then enumerates with dates the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Pakistanis in different countries of the world from September, 1986 to May, 2010. 

He usually writes on issues related to Islam and Muslims. There are Muslims and others who support him for his moderate Islamic stance and there are other Muslims who denounce him for not supporting radical Islam.

His full column, “Pakistan: a bigger threat than Iran,” can be read by clicking on the image above and his other columns can be accessed at:Toronto Sun/Tarek Fatah.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brother Nicholas Thielman, CSC, Observes His Golden Jubilee in the USA

Brother Nicholas Thielman, CSC, a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and a missionary to Bangladesh for 45 years, celebrated his 50 years of Brotherhood in Silver Spring of Maryland, USA, on June 9. 

The golden jubilee celebration at the local White Oak Community Centre comprised of a special jubilee Mass and a reception followed by dinner. Father John Ford, CSC, of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Father John Stanley Gomes of the Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and Father Thaddeus Hembrom, CSC, a Bangladeshi priest and a student at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, concelebrated the Mass. Some American relatives and friends of Brother Thielman joined several dozen Bangladeshi-Americans in this celebration.

Jude V. Gomez, President of the Mary Lou Kalla Foundation (MLKF), that assists over 100 tribal students in Dinajpur District of Bangladesh with a school and educational materials, welcomed the jubilarian and his relatives, friends, and well-wishers. The attraction of the reception was the Bangladeshi dance sequences of children. 

At the Golden Jubilee Mass at White Oak Community Centre of Silver Spring, Maryland, USA: L-R: Brother Nicholas Thielman, CSC, Father John Stanley Gomes (from Seton Hall University, New Jersey), Father John Ford, CSC, (from the Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) and Father Thadeus Hembrom, CSC (Bangladeshi priest and a student at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
Brother Thielman and Father Ford at the Jubilee Mass
A section of the Jubilee Mass attendants
Singers and musicians at the Jubilee Mass
Brother Thielman in front of a banner announcing the golden jubilee of his Brotherhood
Brother Thielman decked with a garland and flowers in the Bengalee style
Father John Stanley Gomes speaking at the jubilee celebration
Brother Binoy Gomes, CSC, the former Provincial of the Brothers of Holy Cross in Bangladesh, speaking on the life and work of Brother Thielman in Bangladesh
Children greeting Brother Thielman with one of the Bangladeshi dances
Brother Thielman with the dancers
Jude V. Gomez, President of the Mary Lou Foundatin in Silver Spring, along with some organizers of the Jubilee celebration is greeting Brother Thielman
Brother Thielman with a section of male and female organizers
Photos: @ the courtesy of Jude V. Gomez

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Quotation of the Week (June 23-29, 2013)

A roadside tea-stall on Pubail Road at Tongi, Bangladesh

Photo (January 10, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Quotation of the Week (June 16-22, 2013)

A quotation on 'history' by Edmund Burke, compiled by Jerome D'Costa

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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 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.

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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)

4.      Eshiar Shadhu-Shadhi (Saints of Asia), (2003)

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)

6.      Mondolir Itihash Porichiti (Introduction to the Church History), (2001)

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)

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