Apostolic Nuncio Confers Pallium on Shillong Archbishop

Shillong, 16 October: Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal conferred the Pallium on Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh in a solemn Eucharistic celebration held at Mary Help of Christians Cathedral, Laitumkhrah, Shillong on 15 October.

Making his maiden visit to North East India, Archbishop Leopoldo Grielli presented the Pallium to the newly appointed Archbishop of Shillong in a concelebrated Holy Mass attended by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Health Minister James Sangma, Member of Parliament Vincent Pala, Archbishop John Moolachira, the President of North East India Regional Bishop’s Council and dignitaries and Bishops from across the region.

Pallium is a woolen vestment traditionally conferred by the Pope on Archbishops at the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome. Pope Francis modified the ritual in 2015; the pallia would be blessed on the same feast at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Archbishops would receive it in a separate ceremony within their home dioceses from the hands of the Apostolic Nuncio.

Speaking on the occasion, the Nuncio said, “I am pleased to be here on my first visit to the region and to the State of Meghalaya. I see here a vibrant and participatory Church, which is at the heart of the Holy Father’s synod on synodality”.

The Nuncio arrived at Meghalaya for a three-day visit to a warm welcome by the faithful led by the Chief Minister of the State on 14 October.

Presenting the Pallium to Archbishop Victor, the Nuncio said, “You represent our Lord who is a Prophet, Priest and King, to preach the good news on every condition, favourable and unfavourable with gentleness and firmness”.

He also spoke to the Priests and Women Religious present at the ceremony to keep service at the core of their life. “Remember that we have become Priests to serve the people and not to rule them. We must follow the example of Jesus Christ to lead the people in humility without any distinction on the basis of language, race or tribe.”

To the Women Religious he said, “You are a consecrated people, a reminder for all the people to be obedient, chaste and poor and to remind us that we are here as pilgrims. You are called to express the care of the church to the marginalised and the poor and to uphold the dignity of the women by giving them education and a sense of dignity as human being”.

Compliance with the government protocols, the ceremony was restricted to limited number of invitees. The ceremony was telecast live for people to witness it from their homes.

Addressing the laity present at the ceremony, the Nuncio highlighted the beginning of the two-year Synod on Synodality by Pope Francis on 10 October.

“We are in the beginning g of the journey we call synod. We need to learn to listen to create communion to understand others with a different opinion and to share our support to the church”, the Nuncio said.

Taking to his microblogging site, Chief Minister Sangma said, “We are blessed to have Most Reverend Leoplodo Girelli, the Apostolic Nuncio to India in our midst today. The Church has stood by us in times of triumphs and hardships and we will always stand by it as it continues to make a difference to people’s lives”.

Father Jose Varikaseril, Professor at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, congratulated Archbishop Victor on behalf of the priests and religious and all the faithful of Shillong archdiocese. And the leaders from Shillong Catholic Association presented the archbishop with a memento.

Father Jimmy Marngar the Chancellor of Shillong Archdiocese thanked the government officials and district administration and everyone present for their support and participation at the solemn event.