News & Events

Arunachal Christians respond to Pope’s universal prayer appeal

The Christians in the remote corners of Arunachal Pradesh responded to Pope Francis’ universal prayer appeal on 25 March 2020. In the wake of the pandemic coronavirus outbreak, the Holy Father had made an appeal to the whole world to pray the ‘Our Father’ on Wednesday, which coincided with the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Responding to the Holy Father’s prayer appeal, every family in Miao Diocese of Arunachal Pradesh prayed the Lord’s Prayer at 4.30pm, corresponding to 12 Noon in Rome. People across the eight districts in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Myanmar and China joined the universal prayer event. Mr. Kamlung Mosang, a Cabinet Minister in the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, who visited the Carmelite Sisters in Changlang District to request them to make mask for the patients in the isolation wards in Miao, joined the Sisters to pray for the whole world. “I am happy to join the Sisters in this universal prayer appeal of Pope Francis. With the daily increase in the number of positive cases of the deadly Covid19, prayer seems to be the only solution. We raise our eyes and with open arms pray that there will soon be respite from the pandemic disease”, said Mr. Mosang, the Minister for Civil Supply & Consumer Affairs and Urban Development. The Bishop of Miao Diocese, George Pallipparambil, had appealed to the whole diocese to join the Holy Father in praying together the ‘Our Father’, the Angelus and Divine Mercy chaplet for relief during this critical time. “I know all our churches are closed and our country is lockdown for the next three weeks. Let us spend this time to engage ourselves usefully by reading the Bible and reflecting on the deep lessons this deadly virus can teach us. I invite everyone to pray at home to participate spiritually with the Holy Father in praying for the world”, read a note from Bishop George to the faithful. People gathered in their families and prayed the Lord’s Prayer in their own dialects. Some families recorder their prayer and shared it in social media platforms. The social communication wing of the Diocese has made a collection of these videos and shared in its social media page to encourage others to pray during this distressing...

read more

North East India Bishops issue guidelines to contain Coronavirus

In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak across India, the North East India Regional Bishops’ Council (NEIRBC) has issued guidelines for all the general public, Parishes and Institutions to take necessary safety precautions to contain the spread of the virus. At the conclusion of the two-day meeting of NEIRBC at the Pastoral Centre, Dibrugarh, on 18 March, the Archbishop of Guwahati and the Council’s President, John Moolachira, speaking on behalf of all the Bishops of North East India said, “We advise the people to follow the guidelines and instructions of their respective States to contain the spread of the pandemic novel coronavirus.”  Advising the people to avoid large public gatherings, a note from the Archbishop read, “Catholics are dispensed from Sunday and other obligatory day obligations till further notice. The Church may be left open for individuals to come and pray.” In the light of the looming threat of the virus and with no respite in sight, the guideline from the Bishops advises the people to avoid panic, as fear is more dangerous than the virus itself. The Apex Body of the North East Bishops has advised the people to receive Holy Communion in the hand, instead of the tongue and to avoid handshakes to greet. The guideline further advises to keep the Holy Water stoops dry and to use disposable wipes, instead of towels, to clean the feet after the feet washing ceremony on Maundy Thursday and it discourages people to kiss the Cross on Good Friday. It advises a deep bow instead. The guideline advises the clergy to refrain from any physical contact while praying over the sick or while receiving offerings. Calling on people to take appropriate measures, the guidelines advises the health experts to conduct instruction and awareness programme for the people about the signs and symptoms of the virus and ways and means to prevent its spread. In the light of the recent attack on two female students from the North East near Delhi University’s North Campus, by six men who called them ‘coronavirus’, the Bishops appeal for peace and to end all discrimination meted out to the people from the region during this critical time. The advisory note concludes with a request for earnest prayers to God to help come out of this deadly virus affecting the whole...

read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Miao Diocese wishes everyone a very Happy New Year...

read more

Bishop George appointed Chairman for Evangelization in Asia

The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) has appointed Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese, Arunachal Pradesh, to lead the Office of Evangelization in Asia for a period of three years starting from 1 January 2020. The appointment of Bishop PK, as he is fondly called by the people around the North East Region, comes close on the heels of the appointment of Cardinal Tagle of Manila Philippines as Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples by Pope Francis in the first week of this month. The Church in North East region has received the news with joy and much hope for the future. Archbishop Emeritus and former Chairman for the Office of Evangelization of FABC, Thomas Menamparampil expressed happiness joy over the appointment Bishop George for the same office. “Having had an intense experience in the field of Evangelization over several decades in a sensitive corner of Asia, he will be able to make a major contribution to the office entrusted to him”, he said. Bishop George, 65, is also the Chairman Bishop of Youth Commission and Evangelization Commission in the North East Regional Bishops’ Council.  Charged with great enthusiasm to spread the message of the Gospel and deep love for the people in the North East Region, Bishop PK is the right person to lead the Church’s work of Evangelization in Asia, said Fr. Johnson Parackal, the President of SIGNIS India North East. As Chairman, Bishop George has his job cut out for the Church during these troubled times across Asia. Upon assuming Office, the new Chairman will be working with Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, Simon Poh Hoon Seng, Archbishop of Kuching, Josheph Son Sam-seok, Bishop of Busan and Dr. Camillus Fernando from the Colombo Catholic Press, to oversee the work of Evangelization in 19 Member Bishops’ and eight Associate Member Bishops’ Conferences across Asia. The appointment of Cardinal Tagle as Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization across the world and Bishop George’s for the same Office in Asia augur well for the Church in Asia in general and for India in...

read more

‘Ambassador of Peace’ calls for the ‘Ability to Listen’

The secret of success of any peace effort is the ability to listen, says the retired Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati. He was speaking on the occasion of receiving the “Ambassador for Peace” award for 2019 from the International Human Rights Council in a glittering ceremony held at India Islamic Centre Auditorium, New Delhi on December 9. “Many think that volubility and vocabulary, a cute approach and a persuasive tongue will convince the parties in conflict. But far more important is a contextual understanding of their more serious anxieties in their complexity and depth. But ultimately, a ‘sympathetic listening’ to their inner agonies alone will open the doors for dialogue,” said the 83-old Church leader. “What we need to acquire most of all is an “ability to listen,” he says. When discussions are rushed through and dictated decisions are pressed hard on the combatants by authorities, peace negotiations stumble, and dialogue makes little headway. But if concern for the anxieties of the affected parties and attention to their eagerness to shape a realistic future dominates the conversation, the horizon brightens up, hearts open out, interactions become fruitful, and realistic conclusions can be reached. Archbishop Menamparampil with his Joint Peace Team had come to the rescue of two and a half lakh refugees in 42 relief camps around Kokrajhar in 1996 after an inter-ethnic conflict that had carried away hundreds of lives and destroyed thousands of houses. More than 400 volunteers from places as far as Mumbai and Pune, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, had come to help, and had worked side by side with those from the Northeast itself for months on end, in close collaboration with the state government, providing food, drink, medicine, clothes and other necessities. Peace work was a continuation of this mighty effort, that came after prolonged negotiations and long eliciting of good will. The Governor and the Chief Minister had lauded this mighty contribution. After that, the Peace Team was called to several places of conflict: Churachandpur, Imphal, Haflong, Diphu, Udalguri, Mendipathar, and Sarupathar in Assam and even Khandmal in Odisha, where major tragedies had caused the loss of hundreds of lives, and a very great loss of houses and enormous amount of property. Asked why these events had not won national attention and international sympathy, the Archbishop said, “Unfortunately, when the affected communities belong to smaller ethnic groups and weaker sections of people, they fail to win the attention they deserve.”  “This is the greatest tragedy,” he lamented. But the misfortunes were not any less grievous for that. Apart from direct involvement on peace issues, the Archbishop has written several books and articles on the theme of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness; respect for cultures, defense of traditional value-systems, etc. He has been present at conferences with such themes in the Universities of Wuhan, Nankai, and Hubei in China; Nairobi and Kampala in Africa, recently in Cairo in Egypt, Izmir in Turkey, and several universities in India itself. Apart from sympathetic listening, the Archbishop insists on the importance of being sensitive to the memories of historic injuries that still may be harassing the communities concerned, in-built prejudices, and cultural distances. “In India we are suffering too much from these,” he says. “And in addition, let your opponent know that you respect him, even when you differ from...

read more