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Bangladesh’s Catholic weekly turns 75

Tuesday 5 April 2016, by SIGNIS

Dhaka , April 5th, 2016 (Ucan). Pratibeshi, Bangladesh’s sole national Catholic weekly magazine, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The magazine is run by the Christian Communications Center, a concern of the Catholic Bishops’ Social Communication Commissionis, a member of SIGNIS.

"It is really extraordinary to see a weekly magazine surviving 75 years, which is rare for any publication in this country," said prominent writer Khokon Corraya, a parishioner of Holy Rosary Church at Tejgaon, central Dhaka.

Back in 1941, Holy Cross Father Richard Duane Patrick started Ranikhong Mission Chithi, a monthly parish bulletin for circulation at St. Joseph’s Church in Ranikhong. The purpose of the bulletin was to help forge a strong connection between the church and laypeople.

In 1942, the bulletin was renamed Catholic Mission Potrika and in 1944, the printing press was moved to Dhaka from Mymensingh. In 1947, it took the current name Pratibeshi and in 1960 it became a weekly publication.

Today, Pratibeshi prints about 8,000 copies every Sunday, which are distributed among subscribers in 98 Catholic parishes across the country. The magazine is also mailed to Bangladeshi Christian subscribers in 35 countries around the world.
The magazine publishes articles on spirituality, morality, teachings of the Catholic Church and contemporary social, economic and political issues with a Catholic perspective. It publishes statements by Catholic bishops and messages from the pope during various national, international and church events. It also publishes news and information on local and universal churches. In addition, the magazine also has a literature section, which publishes articles, stories and poems from amateur and prominent writers.

Since October 2013, the weekly has an online version.

The Christian Communications Center arranged a three-phase celebration to mark the magazine’s 75th anniversary: on Nov. 27 about 700 Catholics, two bishops and 40 priests attended a celebration that was marked with a special Mass, cultural programme and the unveiling of an anniversary logo. The second phase on Jan. 23 was marked with a half-day gathering for some 70 readers, writers, commentators and diocesan representatives at the Christian Communications Center. The final phase was a gathering held on April 1, which attracted thousands of Christians and non-Christians. Bishops from eight dioceses and special guests, including government ministers and prominent Christian and select non-Christian dignitaries, attended the daylong program, which included prayers, a cultural program and a raffle.

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