14 Bishops Grace North East India Easter Meet In Rome
By C.M. Paul, SAR NEWS
ROME (SAR NEWS) – Fourteen bishops of North East India on their ad limina (five yearly) visit to meet the Pope, graced the Easter gathering of the North East India people studying or working in Rome, May 8.
The participants joined the bishops in extending their heartfelt Easter greetings to the people of Northeast India so that they may experience true peace and love which can be found only in the Risen Lord!
The meeting, which started with the celebration of Holy Eucharist with three archbishops, 11 bishops and over 30 priests and 20 sisters, was held at St. Peter’s College near Vatican City.
In all, some 60 participants represented the seven states of North East India. It is the first time in the history of North East India Rome group, that they had the privilege of having 14 bishops at the gathering.
The spokesperson of 15 bishops of the region, Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, was the president along with Archbishops Dominic Jala of Shillong and Dominic Lumon of Imphal. The region is looking forward to the appointment of bishops for Kohima and Diphu dioceses, as well as creation of new dioceses in North East.
In his persuasive homily, soft-spoken Archbishop Menamparampil insisted that “higher education should not sophisticate our minds and weaken our character to the detriment of our mission.”
He encouraged all to prepare themselves well to carry out “our responsibility towards the people of North East India, who are endowed with very rich cultural heritage.”
In the liturgy interspersed with melodious hymns, the participants offered special prayers for the peace and wellbeing of the people of North East, especially for young people of the region who are the hope and future leaders.
After a quick introduction of the bishops and formal greetings, there followed a fellowship meal prepared under the leadership of Coordinating Team, Fathers Lyndoh Tegite Sangma and Raphael Maiong, and Sister Mary Ann.
Missionary to Mongolia and Missionary from Dhaka Saying the grace, Archbishop Lumon of Imphal cautioned that “the comforts and conveniences we enjoy in Europe should not spoil us. When we return to our region, we need to be ambassadors [of Jesus] for our people.”
The happy surprise of the day was the visit of the newly appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai SDB. He took the occasion to greet the bishops and participants. Also, national director of Holy Childhood Association of India, Father Siluvai from Chennai, also made a courtesy call and greeted the participants.
A couple of highly entertaining magic items presented by Father Francis D’Costa from Dhaka, currently studying at the Camillian University Rome, enthralled all.