Pirgacha: St. Paul’s Church

Rev. Eugene E. Homrich, CSC, returned to Bangladesh on Feb. 28,1992. On March 2, 1992, Bishop Francis Gomes, Bishop of Mymensingh Diocese told him to open a new Parish in Pirgacha Village and separate from Jalchatra Parish. I was told that Fr. Alex Rabinal had been appointed Administrator in my place in Jalchatra. We were supposed to open a new Mandi Parish in January 1993. The people in Dorgacholla revolted and said they had been promised a Parish. They locked the church and did not allow anyone to come to Mass.
I arrived in Pirgacha on Ash Wednesday and had a grand welcome. We had Mass under a mango tree by the boys’ boarding. We had to purchase two “pakis” of land for Tk. 8000 from Jimber Mri, the local kamal and leader for the rectory, storerooms and eventually the girls’ boarding. Fr. Alex Rabinal, CSC, Fr. Ponen Kubi, CSC and Fr. Peter Rosario came to Pirgacha and determined the position for the rectory. We sunk a well, 1.5 inch, 110 ft. and 20 ft. filter. Ground broken March 19th 1992 and the first bricks and building material arrive.
SDA built a church in North Chunia. The young boys broke the church and beat up the SDB preacher who promised land, houses, cows, etc. Fr. Homrich lived in Monendra Nokrek’s house for six month.. The new house was finished and the priest moved in on June 1, 1992.
Bishop Francis had a bad heart attack in Bhalukapara on June 11 and Fr. Charley Houser, CSC is VG running the Diocese.
Feb. 1, 1993, Fr. Benjamin Gomes, SX becomes my assistant. Bishop announces that Pirgacha, St. Paul’s will become separate from Jalchatra January 1, 1993. The Catholic population was 6288, Baptist 1201, Oxford 584, SDA 143, pagan 1031 and catechumen 120.
Forest Department is trying to take Mandi lands and the Asia Development Bank gives unsupervised loans which are misused to plant 8000 acres of useless rubber trees. The sal and 60 other species are being sold to 63 saw mills and many false cases are started against the Mandis. Ford foundation gave one million to reforest ate the village of Pekamari. When I told the Ford representative she canceled the loan. State Minister for environment Gayishor Ch. Roy called a meeting in dokhala. I told him President Zia said not to touch Tribal Lands either here or in the North and Foreign Aid from Asia Development Bank depends on the proper use of loans and Human rights violations will cancel the loans. Zakir chairman #9 Union and Hobi chairman #11 said they will throw me out of the country and burn down the Mission.
Wangala celebrated and the new science building given by the British Government dedicated in Oct, 1993. Bethany Ashram opened for deliveries and “foolish Virgins”. Unmarried girls of all faiths come, deliver and give me the baby which is adopted according to the faith of the mother through the courts.
Feb. 1994 refused Fr. Homrich, CSC a visa because I stopped the loan to the Forest Department from Asia. Development Bank because the Forest Dept. was taking tribal lands. No cultivated lands are to be taken by the Forest Department. William Dajel and Michael Simsang started a case #506 against Fr. Homrich, CSC. He filed a blasphemy case against them and they case was dropped.
Papal Nuntio Adriano Bernadini gave schools in Sainamari, Bhutia, Kedjai, Beduria, Joynagacha. Margareta Weiser gave the new Primary School in Pirgacha. she works from Germany for Tribals in Asia. The Italian Bishops gave the new class room in the High School. William Dazel called the final football tournament on the High School field without permission. I put Section 144 in place so they all fled.
After 14 years of waiting we finally got our own Pirgacha Post Office on June 24, 1995.
The new Postmaster will be Jugadesh Rema from Thanarbaid. The new High School classrooms given by the Italian Bishop’s conference blessed by the Nuntio on March 6, 1996.
The Forest Department shot and killed Bihesh Nokrek of Joynagaccha, father of six children. Sainamari Church destroyed by a tornado. The church was built only two years ago in 1994. Arif Niase set up a knitting factory for 95 Mandi women.
Dr. Emilio A. Rozario a Planning Specialist with the Madacor Group said the Bangladesh government intents to remove 16,000 Garos to protect the forest. The World Bank is supposed to finance the project. I said President Zia promised that the Garos would never be evicted in the town Hall meeting in Mymensingh on Feb. 14, 1976. Major General Dustigir also promised that Garos will now be taken in civil service jobs and the armed services.
The Forest Department decided to make an eco-park on 3000 acres of forest land. No Mandi villages are included. The Mandis formed a procession near Jalabada. Piren Snal shot and killed and Utfol Nokrek of Beduria shot and paralyzed for life. 25 other Mandis in the procession have bird shot under their skin. Government decided to drop the wall project.
Bishop Ponen Kubi, CSC was consecrated in Mymensingh on Feb. 13 2004. His family lives in Jalabada. He was educated in Jalchatra High School, Notre Dame college and the Banani Major Seminary.

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