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 India.