Christmas Mass in Bengali celebrated at Queen of Angels Church, Sunnyside, Queens, Diocese of Brooklyn

Fr Sunil at Brooklyn Queens USA

 

A Reporter from Queens

 Diocese of Brooklyn USA

Fr Francis Sunil Rosario who is a contributor of reports to Church CitizeIsaac Gomesns' Voice, is now in the US (he met Dr James Kottoor during his trip to the US) at the Diocese of Brooklyn, popularly known as the diocese of the immigrants have taken great initiatives to include the immigrants of various nationalities over decades.   The Bengali community expressed their gratitude to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio for appointing Rev. Francis S Rosario, a Bengali priest from Kolkata, West Bengal. He has been given placement as Parochial Vicar in the two Churches of Queens, i.e. St. Bartholomew Church, with a residence and Queen of Angels Church. His one of the areas of Pastoral ministry will be to organize Bengali Apostolate in the diocese, under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church and Rev. Fr. RickBeuther of St. Bartholomew Church, who are well experienced pastors of the diocese. They are very sensitive and positive to the pastoral needs of immigrants from various communities.  This report on the 24th December 2017, has been prepared by one of the parishioners and forwarded to me by Fr Francis Sunil Rosario who is a great thinker, communication expert and likes to take up challenging pastoral assignments.  Isaac Gomes, Asso. Editor, Church Citizens' Voice.

 

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The celebration of Christmas for the Bengali Catholic community was unique this year. On this day of solemnity, the Eucharistic thanksgiving Mass in Bengali was held at the Church of Queen of Angels, Sunnyside.Some very significant and representative members who attended this Mass felt God’s abundant graces being poured on them in a special way. The words of Prophet Isaiah were reflected upon “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.” (Is. 9:1-2) Truly, Jesus the light of the world has accompanied this little community of faith, to walk continuously through the passages of darkness, many struggles and gloom, since the time they have landed in the U S for a better future and prospects.

The Diocese of Brooklyn, popularly known as the diocese of the immigrants have taken great initiatives to include the immigrants of various nationalities over decades. This has been one of the major pastoral concerns of the diocese. Through various language and ethnic group Apostolate, the diocese offers opportunities to cater for the pastoral needs of various communities in their own languages, customs and culture.

Even though the Bengali Catholic community gradually settled down in the U S for over four decades, they were like the pilgrim people who tried to find their own identity in this vast ocean of various immigrant communities. The majority of the Bengali Catholic community are from Bangladesh, and a few families migrated to U S from India too. The Bengali community although existed for all these decades, they havetried to establish themselves in various little ways. The diocese of Brooklyn has opened its door to have opportunities to be included into the mainstream line Church Apostolate.

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The Bengali community expressed their gratitude to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio for appointing Rev. Francis S Rosario, a Bengali priest from Kolkata, West Bengal. He has been given placement as Parochial Vicar in the two Churches of Queens, i.e. St. Bartholomew Church, with a residence and Queen of Angels Church. His one of the areas of Pastoral ministry will be to organize Bengali Apostolate in the diocese, under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church and Rev. Fr. RickBeuther of St. Bartholomew Church, who are well experienced pastors of the diocese. They are very sensitive and positive to the pastoral needs of this particular community.

This year’s Christmas celebration in Bengali was one of the first initiatives to gather the people from similar background. The evening liturgy at Queen of Angels was in Bengali. The traditional Bengali Christmas hymnsand carols were sung by a small group. They came for regular practices in the Church, as and when they were able to make it. A sizeable number of Bengali faithful, who are settled in Queens, i.e. Jamaica, Elmhurst, Queens and Long Island etc. attended this Thanksgiving Mass. Over 150 members joined this service in the well decorated Church. Rev. Francis was the main celebrant at Mass.

At the end of the Mass, the members of the community paid their homage to Child Jesus and took His blessings. Thereafter, through sharing of cake and cookies, all exchanged their greetings of Christmas. There was much joy among the members of this small community. They have felt deeply God’s love on this Christmas Night that their hope for a better future will certainly be realized in the days ahead.

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