Building systematically the Church of the future with the Intensive English Course, starting from some key words: TOGETHER, CHARISM, INTERNATIONALITY, FUTURE.
The Intensive English Course, a learning experience.
The Intensive English Course that the Bangladesh Conference of Religious (BCR) organizes every year at the BCR Center (Savar, Dhaka), is a 40-days-program, participated by the candidates, aspirants, novices, seminarians from different Congregations present throughout Bangladesh. About 50 to 80 formees, use this opportunity to raise their standard of English through learning and practise. This year the course was held from January 15th to February 25th 2021.
The daily time table is organized keeping in mind the rules of a house of formation and that of an English language school. The time is divided between prayer, Holy Mass is in English, English language classes and personal study (from 4 to 6 hours a day) and time for games, movies and competitions such as debates, creative stories, spelling bees…(everything, of course, in English!).
Bengali, a sweet melodious language
In every country and in every people we can find a sort of pride in learning and speaking their own mother tongue, feeling that can be sometimes an obstacle in the desire and commitment to learn other languages. This can be said also for Bangladeshi people, who gained the possibility to establish Bengali as the official language of the Nation through fighting and suffering against Pakistan and the attempt of the imposition of Urdu language in 1952. An event that is now remembered every year on a planetary level with the World Mother Language Day, on February 21st.
This historical moment, together with some limitations due to the strengths and weaknesses of the Bengali Education Sector, in one of the economies that currently sees the highest growth rate, makes the choice to learn English on a professional level (especially in religious Congregations) is truly a crucial challenge for the Church and also for society.
Consequently, learning English often becomes one of the priorities in the formation program for all Congregations, to prepare formees and the formators to face new challenges, to travel abroad, to understand in depth the international dynamics and to be able to easily establish international collaborations.
The Intensive English Course, an experience of collaboration
The experience of working for this Intensive English Course can’t be described only as a possibility to teach, to learn, to practise…It would be reductive. According to our experience, the core and the payoff of the experience is working together IN THE CHURCH, FOR THE CHURCH!
This program, was started by the Holy Cross Congregation, involving different Congregations, from the side of the managing team, but also from the side of the students.
This year Br. Subal L. Rozario, CSC as the President of the Bangladesh Conference of Religious (BCR), with the help of Sr. Adline Peris, CIC as the BCR Secretary & Program Coordinator took up the responsibility of the entire program. Sr Mukul Rozario, CIC as the Responsible of the BCR Center in Savar, supervised all the details of the hosting at the Center. Br. Protim Xavier Palma CSC as the Director of the Course for this year had the responsibility of all the content of the course and the different learning activities, and Fr. Frank Quinlivan, CSC, Mr. Binoy Roy, Sr. Lorenza Radini, PIME offered their work in quality of teachers of three different classes.
From the point of view of the students, this year there were aspirants from Holy Cross Congregation, on formation for priesthood and brotherhood. From the women’s congregations there were aspirants and postulants from Missionaries of Charity and Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (PIME); junior sisters on formation from Association of Mary, Queen of Apostles (SMRA), Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Angels (CIC).
In our small group of more than 50 people we could see a tiny image of the Church in Bangladesh, living and working hard TOGETHER to reach the same goal. We could know each other a little more and appreciate the uniqueness of the different CHARISM of the Congregations present, especially the passion and professionality of the whole Holy Cross Congregation in the field of education and teaching. We could experience INTERNATIONALITY, helping each other to go a little bit further and start to dream a future abroad, living in international communities, and carrying on international projects. A dream that can be personal for each one of us, but first is a dream for the Church as a whole: ‘That they all may be one’ (Jn 17, 21). We started again to try to build unity, peace, respect, love, to prepare a new FUTURE for our Church, a future in which comprehension and mutual understanding, interest and curiosity for other cultures and peoples can be our key values…Yes, we started from learning and practising English!
Thanks to the Intensive English Course 2021!
Intensive English Course Staff
BCR Center, Savar, Dhaka