Because of the ethnic difference of the people of God in the Diocese of Mymensingh and the particular problems in the area, it is necessary to have a different pastoral plan.This plan should be an expression not only of the present situation.
In the Garo Church. It should be a vision of what the people themselves hope for themselves and the Garo race as the people of God. The pastoral plan should be the fruit of planning done by the people of God after analyzing their problems as an ethnic minority within a small Christian community in a Muslim country. As a Mongolian minority the Garo community has unique problems maintaining their identity as a Christian ethnic minority. The constant attempt to take over their lands because their lands are undocumented has made the community unstable and a vulnerable target for oppression. With the impoverishment of the Tribe many young people have migrated to the cities in the garments industry and as domestic servants or work in beauty parlors. Here they have become victims of corruption and vice. What is the peoples’ self image and hope for the future should be reflected in the pastoral plan.
Prophetic pastoral guidelines:
We the Mandi people, choose the family in all its expressions as the core of our pastoral ministry. We as Mandi people, make a preferential option for and in solidarity with the poor and marginalized.
We, as Mandi people make a preferential option for Mandi youth, so that they will participate at all levels of pastoral ministry.
We as Mandi people, want to develop and follow a pastoral plan that responds to our reality.
We, as Mandi people, want to follow a pastoral thrust as an evangelizing and missionary Church.
We, as Mandi people, want to follow a thrust of promoting Mandi leadership which is incarnated and committed.
We, as Mandi people, want to follow a thrust of integral education sensitive to our cultural identity.
We, as Mandi people want to follow a thrust as a Church that promotes and exemplifies justice.
We as a Mandi people, wish to follow a thrust of valuating and promoting women, recognizing her equality and dignity, and her role in the Church, the family, and society.
We, as Mandi people, commit ourselves to create and maintain the small ecclesial communities in order to foster and share Christian gifts incarnated in the Mandi culture, developing the ecclesial awareness of our people promoting a Church that is prophetic, evangelizing, communitarian, and missionary; in order to attract those alienated or separated from the ecclesial structures; in order to continue the catechesis in accordance with the needs of our people, and in order to encourage prayer and reflection, sharing our faith, customs, culture, and material and spiritual resources.
We, as Mandis, commit ourselves to collaborate in the development of a pastoral plan together that will be adopted to the diocese by the bishop, priests, catechists, teachers and the laity, based on the study and analysis of the real needs of the Mandis taking into consideration their culture, language, and customs.
We as Mandis commit ourselves to create base communities using gospel values, giving special attention to the formation of the agents of pastoral leadership.
We, as Mandi people, commit ourselves to achieve greater authority and power for the offices of the Mandi apostolate in order that they be authentic evangelizing instruments of our people.
We commit ourselves to develop a style of evangelization that is more personal orientated toward the formation of small communities where the integral message of salvation may be lived and proclaimed.
We, as Mandis commit ourselves to develop a plan of consciousness raising and analysis of the existing education and communication systems controlled for materialistic purposes and without a Christian value system.
We as Christian Mandis, commit ourselves to create plays, books, stories and other programs, which reflect our religious, cultural, political and socioeconomic reality, capable of penetrating it with an integral evangelizing dimension that embraces the totality of the person. We, as Mandis, commit ourselves to be authentic evangelizers, promoting Christian values from the family, society, culture and the Church, in order to eliminate all abuse and exploitation.
We, as Mandis, commit ourselves to promote the creation of a program for integral education that embraces the totality of the person within his/her reality and which includes the spiritual, socioeconomic, political and multicultural formation. This program will give priority to the family---the primary educator, youth, women, the poor and marginal (Tribals, peasants, urban workers, prisoners, political prisoners, undocumented, refuges, migrants, etc.)
We, the Mandi people, commit ourselves to collaborate in order to achieve the personal awareness and consciousness raising of our pastoral leaders; clergy, religious, lay directors of projects, houses of formation, on the importance of our culture, language, historical reality, and popular religiosity have in our integral formation (religious, social, economic and political).
We Mandis commit ourselves to acquire, use, and produce a religious and mass media to develop social justice, educational programs according to the actual needs of the Mandis.
We Mandis commit ourselves to become involved in the Catholic and public educational system (managing committees, parish councils, regional committees, etc.) and to use our influence and capabilities to advocate:
a) An educational system that would give mandis a right to higher education (high school, colleges, university and professional education).
b) Orientation and financial aid for students with the greatest need: youth, farm workers, and women, handicapped, undocumented, garment workers, beauty parlor workers, new urban workers and the exploited in Mandi society.
c) Adult programs for conscious raising with special emphasis on social analysis, self help, justice and peace issues.
d) educational programs in the fields of social, religious, political and human rights.
e) Adult programs for conscious raising with special emphasis on social analysis, self-help, justice and peace issues.
We as Mandi people commit ourselves to denounce injustices and to struggle for human rights in all their dimensions, especially:
The inalienable right of all Mandis to live and work in any place without discrimination. Tribal lands belong to the Mandis even though, because of historical and political reasons, lands are undocumented.
The right of each worker, man or women, farm worker, servants, garment workers, teachers, catechists, beauty parlor workers, etc; to receive just wages, housing and needed social services.
The protection of the law for all those who suffer persecution of any kind: social, economic, political, or religious.
Respect life from its conception in all forms and struggle so that it may always be respected.
We as Mandis commit ourselves to support the statements and policies of our bishops in Bangladesh regarding justice and peace issues, birth control and family life.
We support their statements regarding minority rights and Tribal rights and discrimination against the marginalized.
We as Mandis, request that the means of mass communication be used to denounce the violence and injustice aimed at the family, youth, women, Tribals, minorities, peasants, factory workers and the imprisoned.
We as Christian Mandis, commit ourselves to contribute in the development and implementation of a plan of action for social justice on a national, regional, diocesan, and parochial level, which should include programs of:
- Conscientization of the injustices that oppress our people.
- a formation for justice according to the social doctrine of the Church.
- information, education and legal defense.
- literacy and training.
- civil and political formation
- medical assistance and education in preventive medicine,
We, as Mandis people commit ourselves to work so that the Church may set an example of her own social doctrine.
We as Christian Mandis commit ourselves to work for the renewal of the parish and sub-parishes in order that we may establish a truly Mandi Christian society based on Gospel values.
We, as Mandi commit ourselves to become critically aware of oppressive political and economic systems, as well as the international issues such as the arms race. ecological and the drug problems, etc.,following the guidelines of the magisterium of the Church.
We, as Christian Mandis commit ourselves to create an office on the diocesan and parish level on a permanent basis, which should communicate with regional,
diocesan, parochial and grassroots levels. This coordination should create integral programs of formation, guidance and conscientization (religious vocations, leadership, human relations and so on).
We, Mandis commit ourselves within the national pastoral plan and local parish plans, a youth pastoral at parochial, diocesan, regional and national Tribal levels through an option and concrete actions in favor of youth which should include:
- integral formation of youth in the rural and urban areas and help to provide the necessary funds;
- a full time coordinator to be in charge of the mandi youth pastoral plan;
We, the Mandi youth commit ourselves to be missionaries to our own youth (peer ministry) expressing our faith with our own youthful spirit, culture and in the light of the Gospel.
We, the Mandi youth commit ourselves to change the educational system to value our language, cultural values and to receive the necessary education to be integrated into the national culture and society.
We as Mandi youth commit ourselves to the creation and implementation of leadership training programs for the youth so that they can participate with other youths, adolescents, children and adults promoting associations and ecumenical movements.
We, Mandis commit ourselves to promote activities in order to seek funds which would help provide scholarships and youth programs.
We, Mandis commit ourselves to promote the unity of the Christian family through integral education for both parents and children.
We, Mandis commit ourselves to set an example of practical Christianity to youth and to support their participation, focusing on justice and peace, so that the young may participate in all Church ministeries, thus giving a renewing vision of youthful potential and renewing the Tribal values of joy, celebration of life, honesty, truthfulness and unity.
We, as Mandis commit ourselves to discover, motivate, support, promote, and foster leaders who come from the people, and live with the people at the grass roots level.
We, as Mandis commit ourselves to participate in the planning, decision making and in assuming positions of responsibility in the Church at all levels (national, regional, diocesan, parochial, village, etc.).
We, as Mandis, commit ourselves to strive for the creation of centers of integral formation with mobile teams, which should insure the continual formation of leaders for all ministries and groups with common interests on diocesan, regional and national levels.
We as Mandi people commit ourselves to assume as our responsibility the promotion of vocations to the priesthood, religious life, lay ministry, catechists, and teachers within the Mandi community, bearing in mind that the candidates be provided with a formation that responds to the cultural and spiritual needs of the people, and permits them to be incarnated in our reality in Bangladesh.
We as Mandis commit ourselves to assume our responsibility for the financial support of the local Church and take effective means to provide for the education of Mandis to support their teachers, catechists and local clergy financially.
We as Mandis commit ourselves to work with our bishops, priests, religious, teachers and catechists so that they will work together with the people and their lay leaders in the parish councils and villages by promoting leadership meetings to unify criteria and bring about mutual support and effective pastoral work.
We as Mandis commit ourselves to raise the consciousness of civic leaders through various means. Thus encouraging leadership in our own community to analyse and solve the problems of the Mandi Church in Bangladesh.
September 8, 2015