Karbi Catholics celebrate 100 years of faith

November 18, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Karbi CatholicsGuwahati, November 17, 2014: Catholics in Diphu diocese celebrated the centenary of the arrival of faith among the Karbis last week with several programs celebrating the faith and remembering pioneering missioners.

Bishop Paul Mattekatt of Diphu opened the Nov. 7-10 programs with the theme “They kingdom come.” Delegates form different parishes gathered in the Cathedral grounds for the opening function.

During the brief ceremony in the morning, the deceased Missionaries were commemorated with gratitude for their brave sacrifices. 100 balloons were released to mark the glorious occasion of 100 years of Catholic faith.

Father Joseph Teron, the first Karbi Salesian priest spoke about “the arrival and spread of Catholic faith among the Karbis” Father John Timung, the first Karbi priest and Vicar General talked on “the need to strengthen and spread the faith further.”

During a seminar the participants of the seminar resolved to make every Catholic family to become a praying family and evangelizing family.

They also resolved to promote local vocations to priesthood and religious life and work to attain a graduation and improve the status of families in the Church and the society by helping each other.

Later in the evening, a documentary prepared by Fr Nelson and his team was released and screened for all. Sunday, 9 November witnessed the climax of the celebrations.

Bishop James Thoppil of Kohima led Eucharist with Bishop Paul Mattekatt and about 50 priests on Sunday, the concluding day.

Following the mass, the people joined priests and religious for a colorful procession through the streets of Diphu carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a decorated float accompanied by school bands. The procession concluded with the benediction and solemn blessing.

The first to be felicitated at award ceremony in the evening were the direct descendants of the first Karbis to receive baptism on 25 January 1914, in Roman Marjong village.

The diocese of Diphu was erected in 1983, taking Karbi Anglong district from the diocese of Shillong-Guwahati and the district of North Cachar Hills from the diocese of Silchar. The diocese has an area of 15,000 square kilometers with a population of some 1 million people with approximately 51,100 Catholics. At present there are 24 parishes in the diocese.

The Salvatorians were the first to evangelize among the Karbis, followed by the Jesuits in 1916. The Salesians entered the scene in less than a year of their arrival in the Northeast, and contributed to the present growth of the Church in Karbi Anglong.

– don bosco india

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