Institute run by missionaries committed to transmitting human values while offering a solid academic formation
Brother Placid Rebeiro, Principal of Holy Cross School and College in Rajshahi, welcomes new students with flowers on January 18. (Photo provided)
A missionary-run school and college in the city of Rajshahi, launched more than 30 years after the establishment of the Catholic diocese, is committed to imparting human values and providing a solid academic education to Bangladeshi students.
The Brothers of the Holy Cross, well known for their educational apostolate, officially started their new ministry in Rajshahi on January 18 with the aim of providing inclusive education, welcoming new students to Holy Cross School and College in diocese of Rajshahi.
The educational institution started its journey with 106 students as the first missionary-run Catholic school and college in the metropolitan city of Rajshahi. Initially, it admits students in kindergarten, kindergarten, first, third, fourth and sixth grades, but it will be gradually upgraded to grade 12.
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“Our first consideration is to ensure that students can learn in an open and friendly environment so that they can learn values. We want students to be 100% free from private dependency and attend 100% in class,” said Br. Placid Rebeiro, director of the institute.
“Students can learn leadership through humanitarian, moral development and extracurricular activities. In a nutshell, we want to ensure an environment in which a full human child grows, and we are committed to it.
Catholics are not very present in Rajshahi. Additionally, politicians and bishops wanted an educational institution in Rajshahi similar to Notre Dame College, Holy Cross or St. Joseph’s College which enjoy a good reputation throughout the country.
We have confidence in missionary educational institutions guaranteeing that our children will receive the right education as well as moral values
Although Rajshahi is famous for its educational institutions, there have been no missionary educational institutions. The foundation stone for Holy Cross School and College was laid on January 25, 2021.
Although the Diocese of Rajshahi was formed in 1990, for the past three decades the bishops have invited missionaries to establish a local educational institution, but this has not been possible due to various limitations. But now they have an educational institution with a capacity of 1,000 students from all religions.
“The bishop invited us a long time ago, along with other missionaries, to establish an educational institution here, but we needed manpower which was not available at the time. Now that we have the capacity, we want to continue our work here,” Brother Rebeiro said.
The Holy Cross Brothers run 25 schools and colleges with approximately 25,000 students nationwide. Rajshahi, one of the eight divisional towns, is a major urban area in northern Bangladesh. The city is also known as a center of education with a number of public and private institutes that attract thousands of students every year.
“We have faith in missionary educational institutions which ensure that our children will receive the right education as well as moral values as evidenced by some of the reputable institutions run by missionaries in Dhaka,” said Rafiquel Islam, a businessman whose the son is in sixth grade.
“I am very happy that this school is in our city and I welcome Catholic missionaries.”
The Brothers of the Holy Cross are one of the three branches of the Congregation of the Holy Cross made up of priests, nuns and brothers. After arriving in Bangladesh in 1853, it became the largest Catholic religious order in the country.
Every year, Catholic institutes in Bangladesh provide education to more than 100,000 mostly non-Christian students in a university, 17 secondary schools and colleges, 43 secondary schools and 278 primary and secondary schools, according to the Catholic Yearbook of 2019.