North East Catholics join Pope to consecrate Ukraine and Russia

Guwahati, March 25, 2022: The Catholic bishops of northeastern India on March 25 responded to the appeal of Pope Francis and spiritually joined him in consecrating Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the wake of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the Pope had requested Christians and bishops across the world to join him spiritually in the penitential celebration ’24 Hours for the Lord’ where he consecrated the warring neighboring countries to Mother Mary.

Inviting the people in his archdiocese to pray along with the rest of the world, Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati said, “We need peace. We are pained by the suffering of people in both these countries. The leaders of these two countries need our prayers that they may have the gift of wisdom and courage to take steps towards peace.”

The archbishop also noted that the prayer of consecration prepared by the Pope has been translated into many tribal languages and made available to the public.

“Many of our parish churches have arranged Way of the Cross in the evening followed by Holy Mass and the prayer of consecration,” said Archbishop Moolachira, who is also the president of the North East India Regional Bishops’ Council.

Bishop Albert Hemrom of Dibrugarh too joined the prayer of consecration. “We need peace now more than ever. The world is just on the way to recovery after two long years of trying times caused by the pandemic. War is the last thing that humanity needs now,” said the prelate who is also the chairman for North East Social Communication.

Speaking at the backdrop of the annual general body meeting of NESCOM at Inspiration in Guwahati, Assam, Bishop Hemrom said, “We pray with the Holy Father that God may give peace to this ailing world”.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, Archbishop Emeritus Thomas Menamparampil highlighted how war in any part of the world has its global impact. “Even though only Ukraine and Russia are in conflict, its repercussions are seen all over the world, because we are all connected to each other. We are one big family. We cannot and should not fight,” said the Salesian prelate who has worked for peace in the region for more than fifty years.

Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala led his people in Tripura state to conduct Eucharistic Adoration prior to the prayer of consecration. Echoing the words of Patrick Kelly, the fourteenth and current supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Monteiro said, “I join Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Prayer has won wars. While the benefits of our prayers may not be as tangible as dollars spent on food or medicine, we trust their effects are even more important.”

Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao in Arunachal Pradesh wrote to Catholics in his diocese to join the prayer of consecration. “There is hope when we pray. When all our human efforts fail, God takes control. We pray with the Holy Father for peace in both these countries and in the rest of the world,” the Salesian prelate said.

Similar prayer of consecration was held in Kohima in Nagaland, Aizawl in Mizoram, Shillong, Jowai, Nongstoin and Tura in Meghalaya, Diphu, Bongaigaon, Tezpur and Dibrugarh in Assam, Imphal in Manipur, and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.