News & Events

Arunachal Christians mourn the death of Father Stan Swamy

Kharsang, 7 July 2021: The Christian community in Arunachal Pradesh mourned the death of Father Stan Swamy with candle light condolence prayer service across the State on 6 July. “It is a sad day for all Indians. We have failed, our judiciary has failed and our country has failed”, said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese in east Arunachal Pradesh. Organising a condolence prayer service at Kharsang market area in Changlang district, Bishop George said, “The death of Father Stan calls for introspection on our judicial system. Father Stan’s death reminds us of how Jesus was unjustly condemned by the Pilot.” Adding that the death of Father Stan is a manifestation current legal system in our country the Bishop requested everyone to work towards building a just society. The timing of the hour-long condolence prayer service at Kharsang market coincided with the funeral service for Father Stan at St. Peter’s Church, Bandra, Mumbai. The prayer service was attended by youth, men and women groups and religious sisters from Namphai and Kharsang circles of Changlang district. Speaking at the backdrop of a prayer service held at Bishop’s House, Naharlagun, Bishop John Thomas of Itangar diocese in west Arunachal Pradesh said, “Every Indian voter shares the shame of this institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy.” Commenting that the condemnation from all sections of the society on the death of Father Stan is an indication that the world has not yet sold its conscience to the powerbrokers, Bishop Thomas said, “A country that boasts of its armed capability to take on nuclear powers like China and Pakistan is afraid of an 84 year-old Parkinson patient who needs help to perform his basic bodily functions.” Calling Father Stan’s arrest and his subsequent death as acts of anarchy, Bishop Thomas said, “This frail old man has to be incarcerated until death because he was a symbol of the voice of the poor dalits and tribals. This is how fascists cling on to power in the name of saving the country from anarchy. If this is not anarchy, what else!” The President of the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association, Taw Tebin, too condemned the “institutional murder” of Father Stan. “Father Stan’s blood is on our hand. Is this the reward we give to a person who has dedicated all his for the service of humanity?” Tebin asked. Father Stan was arrested on 8 October 2020 by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged nexus with naxals to destabilise the Government. He was kept in Taloja Central Jail near Mumbai without trail. His bail plea was rejected twice. He was shifted to Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai on 29 May on the orders of Bombay High Court and he passed away on 5 July, awaiting...

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Miao Diocese launches ‘Earth is Gold’ campaign on World Environment Day

Miao, 5 June: Miao Diocese launched Mitthi Sona Hai (Earth is Gold) campaign to mark the World Environment Day at a small event held at Christ the Light Minor Seminary, Miao on 5 June 2021. Aimed at making people self sufficient, the campaign is for encouraging people to cultivate and produce their own food, said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese. Celebrating the World Environment Day 2021 with the diocesan minor seminarians, the Salesian prelate said, “Mitthi Sona Hai. The Earth is gold and it has everything for everyone. We only need to till it and discover it.” The campaign aims at making every parish in the diocese to produce its own vegetables and fruits. Quoting the creation story of the Bible, the Bishop said, “God asks us to subdue the earth and not subjugate it. It calls for free and equal coexistence with the nature. We are to be friends to the mother earth and not its master.” To implement the campaign in every Parish, Bishop has appointed Father Kanjirathamkunnel Peter, the administrator of the minor seminary. He and his team will organize workshops and awareness campaigns on Mitthi Sona Hai for different groups of the diocese to give them useful tips to put the earth to maximum use to become self sufficient. Terming the campaign a great step forward, Father Peter said “Every parish and centre has huge plots of land lying waste. We need to discover the gold in it by tilling and planting our own foods”. The launch of the campaign was responded by the youth groups of the parishes across the diocese. Nearly 150 youth from Injan village in Changlang district planted 700 fruit plants around the village. “We are happy to be part of this great initiative of the diocese. We have planted fruit plants today and in the coming days we will make kitchen gardens around our houses”, said Junem Langching, a youth leader of the diocese. Launched today, the Mitthi Sona Hai campaign will run for a year till next World Environment...

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NE Catholic Church forms Core Team to respond to Covid crisis in the region

Guwahati, 18 May 2021: In the wake of rising number of Covid cases in North East India, the Catholic Church of the region has formed a Core Team to respond to the crisis, over an online meeting held on 18 May 2021. The primary task of this core team is to coordinate the various activities carried out by the Catholic Church of the region to be more effective during this critical period of our life time, said Father G.P. Amalraj, the convener of the meeting and the Deputy Secretary of North East India Regional Bishops’ Council (NEIRBC). The core team will form various task forces with each assigned with a particular area of focus, like finding hospital beds for the Covid patients, supplying food and relief materials to the patients and to their relatives, counseling and monetary assistance to those in need. Appreciating the initiative, Archbishop John Moolachira, the President of NEIRBC said, “Having a core team will help us avoid duplicating our efforts and also to reach out to more people in our region”.    A total of 27 participants attended the hour-long online meeting Expressing concern over a huge number of deaths of priests and women religious across India, Bishop James Thoppil, the Secretary of NEIRBC advised everyone to take all safety measures while carrying out relief efforts. “It is sad we have lost more than 150 priests and much more number of women religious in our country. NE Region too has lost some very young priests to the pandemic. It is important that we take care of ourselves while going about serving the people”, said the Kohima Bishop. A letter of advice to be followed by all priests and women religious while on covid duty will be sent to all the Bishops of the region, said Bishop Thoppil. The people in the tea garden villages across the region are the most affected. Formation of core team will help us reach out to them in the last villages, said Father Sebastian Ouseparampil, the Director of North East Diocesan Social Service Society, who will head this core team. The team consists of Father Melvil Pereira, the Provincial Superior of Guwahati Region, Brother Varghese Mandapam, Provincial of Montfort Brothers, Sister Escociana Vaz, the Regional Secretary of Catholic Religious in India, Father Jayaprakash, Director of Bosco Reachout, Father Tom Mangattuthazhe, Regional Secretary of Ecumenism, Father Roy George, Director of AIDA, Dimapur, and Jonas Lakra, the Zonal Director of Caritas...

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Ascension: Command to communicate a culture of liberation

In fact, life is all about communication. If we observe closely enough we would find communication in everything. It could be a branch of tree with leaves and flowers, or the blue pristine river that flows by, or the snow-capped mountain that overlooks the villages, or that tiny little bird that chirps around – everything is trying to communicate something to someone. It is hard to imagine a world that is not communicating. But what do we communicate? Do we communicate what the Lord commands us to do (Mark 16: 15)? Or do we carry our own agenda and become the false communicators that the Lord warns us about in Matthew 7:15? The Holy Bible presents our God as a communicating God who brings everything into being with His act of communication (Genesis 1: 3). The Word through whom everything was made asks His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching people to obey everything Hecommanded them and assures them of His constant communication to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). Communication for Liberation: On this World Communication Day, we turn our focus on how the disciples went to the ends of the earth carrying the gospel of liberation from Jesus. It was the beginning of liberation for all the oppressed and exploited people and because of the gospel and the life of Jesus Christianity gave voice to the voiceless in various ways. The missionary mandate and the confidence in the Lord’s assurance made His disciples to travel to the length and breadth of the world, not worrying about what is in store for them on the way or while going about what the Lord commanded them. North East India is blessed to have the footprints of two Servants of God Krick and Bourry, French Missionaries belonging to the Scoiete des Missions Etrangeres de Paris (MEP) or the society of the Paris Foreign Missions. While travelling through the unfriendly terrains of Arunachal Pradesh, Father Krick often recounts in his letters to the superiors back in Paris how the assurance of the Lord gave him and his companion the courage to march on. In the absence of the proper ‘church’ on the way, Fr. Krick writes in his letter dated 21 December 1851 how ‘wearing the cassock, surplice and a stole I knelt down to perform my devotions.  A granite block did duty as an altar on which I placed my crucifix and the Bible and the breviary. I implored the help of him who said: Go forth and teach all nations’. This allows us to have a look into the mind of the missionaries in the past and how ardently and arduously they communicated the gospel of liberation. Communication for Liberation in the North East India: Even though the North East India, of late, has seen substantial improvement in the communication facility, it is still a challenge in most part of the region. There are villages that cannot be reached on road. Missionaries working in the region walk for miles, climbing up mountains, crossing rivulets and trudging down valleys to reach mission stations. Upon arrival at the village, the warm reception and hospitality of the people...

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Happy Birthday Bishop George

The Diocese of Miao wishes a blessed Birthday to our dear Bishop, Most Rev. George Pallipparambil sdb on his 67th Birthday on 15 May 2021. Due the special situation we are in, the celebration of the day was mostly prayers for the Bishop. We wish our Bishop good health and long...

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