Miao diocese gets first priest of indigenous origin

Lazu: Miao diocese in Arunachal Pradesh ordained its first catholic priest of indigenous origin at the general ground, Lazu in Tirap district on 10 October.

Father Vincent Rangwang, who belongs to the Ollo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, was ordained priest by Bishop George Pallipparambil at his home Parish at Lazu in Tirap district in the presence of Auxiliary Bishop Dennis, priests, among others. 

Congratulating Father Vincent Rangwang on becoming the first tribal priest to be ordained from Miao diocese, Bishop George said, “This indeed is a proud moment for the Ollo community and for everyone in the diocese. However, Father Vincent now belongs not just to the Ollo community but to the whole world.” 

Father Rangwang has been ordained a priest for the Congregation of Missionaries of Compassion (MOC) based in Aliabad, Hyderabad. 

“Even though you have your strong tribal roots, now the whole world is your family. May you sanctify yourself daily to lead all the people to God,” the Salesian prelate told the new priest. 

Father Rangwang, the eldest of the three children of Khopok and Pojen Rangwang from Sinnu village in Lazu Circle, joined the MOC in 2011 after completing his schooling in Khonsa, the district headquarter of Tirap. He later studied Philosophy and Theology at Holy Spirit Major Seminary, Eluru in Andhra Pradesh.  

Many local leaders expressed joy over the ordination of a Priest from the Ollo tribe, one of the smallest tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. 

“As an Ollo tribesman, I feel overwhelmed with joy today. It is now like seeing the first fruit of our years of perseverance in faith and a dream come true,” said Azet Yangli Humtok, a senior church leader in the Tirap district. 

“This indeed is a joyful moment for all of us from our small OIlo tribe. I am sure this will inspire many young people from our village to take up religious calling,” said Sethok Thinyan, a youth leader from Lazu. 

According to the latest survey conducted in 2022, the total population of the Ollo tribe is 11,665 and they mostly inhabit 12 villages under Lazu circle, the last administrative circle of Arunachal Pradesh towards Myanmar, which is 10 km from the border.  

The president of Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association (APCA), Taw Tebin and new president of Arunachal Christian Forum Tarh Miri Stephen were present for the ordination ceremony and congratulated the newly ordained and his parents with letters of appreciation.  

“It is a historic moment for the catholic church in Arunachal Pradesh. We pray for Father Vincent Rangwang for God’s blessings to help him spread the message of love, peace, and kindness of the Lord in every corner of the world,” said the APCA president. 

Father Rangwang now becomes the third catholic priest from Arunachal Pradesh. Father Roshan Bamin Peter from the Apatani tribe ordained in May 2022 and Father Francis Belo from the Galo tribe ordained in 2008 are from the Itanagar diocese in west Arunachal Pradesh.