PIME missionaries from Colombia coming to Bangladesh
It is rare for a Latin American priest to leave his continent. Father Gomez said "that the Lord will show me the way. I am in his hands."
Father Danilo Gomez, 35, from the Diocese of Sonsón-Rionegro in Colombia would shortly leave for Bangladesh with Father Belisario, another of his confreres at the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
It is rare for a Latin American priest to leave his continent. Father Gomez said "that the Lord will show me the way. I am in his hands." The two priests are now perfecting their English and are set to study Bengali over the next two years.
"I know that their culture is very different from ours. They tend to think about facts, about concrete things. For my part, I want to learn to read their hearts and bring them everything I have, i.e. Jesus. This is the greatest treasure," Father Gomez said.
After he was ordained in 2009, Father Gomez was initially sent to two separate villages in his diocese to serve as the local parish priest. Later, he was sent to a seminary to teach.
"When I started as an educator I thought I would do it for five years, and then be finally ready to go on mission." He was guided by what Bishop Tobón Ricardo Restrepo had told him when he was a student: "In his heart, every seminarian must have a mission, [a desire] to be a missionary, anywhere, even if this might mean elsewhere."
Bishop Ricardo's advice had an impact on him because of a new experience undertaken by his diocese and the Church in Colombia. Between 2000 and 2007, a small group of priests associated with PIME, had gone to Bangladesh for the first time. A meeting with one of these priests, years later, pushed Father Gomez to make the final choice of going to Bangladesh.
Reflecting on his future life as a missionary, he said that he found great comfort in Pope Francis who like him comes from "the end of the world. The Pope has an exceptional ability to communicate because his words are always very practical."
“The Pope's constant call to go out to the fringes of society is fundamental, because too often we are 'just' happy to be priests, to stay in this or that parish, or do this or that pastoral work. Instead, it is our duty to go out because there are so many people who need Jesus."