POST TIME: 4 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Serve the wider community
Urges Pope Francis as he leaves Dhaka

Serve the wider community

Pope Francis left Dhaka for Rome on Saturday wrapping up his three-day high profile visit with expression of gratitude and prayers for the people of Bangladesh. While addressing local Christians, the leader of about 120 crore Catholics across the globe described the service to the wider community as precious. “As I depart Bangladesh for my return to Rome, I offer renewed thanks to your Excellency, the government and all the beloved people of Bangladesh for your generous welcome and for the many kindnesses shown to me during my visit,” said the pope in a farewell telegram to President Abdul Hamid.

“With the assurance of my continued prayers for you, I invoke the Almighty’s blessings of harmony and prosperity upon the nation,” he said as he completed his visit, first by any pope since 1986.

In the morning of Saturday, Francis visited Mother Teresa House in Tejgaon followed by attending a meeting with priests, religious men and women, consecrated persons, seminarians and novice at the Holy Rosary Church.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, “I am especially grateful for the many ways in which so many of you are engaged in the areas of social outreach, healthcare and education, serving the needs of your local communities and of the many migrants and refugees coming to your country,”

“Your service to the wider community, in particular to those most in need, is a precious service to the building of a culture of encounter and solidarity,” he said

Later, he visited the parish cemetery and the old part of the church.

In the afternoon, the pope visited Notre Dame College in Dhaka for the meeting with young people in college’s the sports field.

Upon arrival, he greeted the young people present there and blessed the first stone of the new building of “Notre Dame University Bangladesh”, and a commemorative plaque.

Following hymns, dances and testimonies from young people, the pope addressed the gathering before heading to airport to catch a flight to Italy. Foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali saw him off at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

There was a brief meeting between the pope and the foreign minister at the airport.