Roadside Grotto Dedication marks the Year of St. Joseph in Miao Diocese

Namchik, 20 March 2021: A roadside grotto was blessed and dedicated to St. Joseph to mark Year of St. Joseph in Arunachal Pradesh’s Miao Diocese on 20 March 2021.

“I am very happy to bless this grotto and dedicate it to the Year of St. Joseph”, said Bishop George Pallipparambil sdb of Miao Diocese. “This may be the first of its kind in India to mark the Year of St. Joseph”, he said at a small blessing ceremony at the Namchik-Balinong junction in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The grotto is located at a prominent junction. The roads crossing the junction lead to Bordumsa, Jairampur and Miao Subdivisions of Arunachal Pradesh, Jagun and Tinsukia in Assam and to Pangsau Pass in Myanmar.

“This Grotto is not only going to be a landmark but an import prayer-point for the people travelling through these roads”, said Bishop George.

The people of Kharsang, a small township under Miao sub-division, responded to Pope Francis’ call to reflect on the silent role of St. Joseph this year with this grotto. The grotto is the result of collective efforts of the people. Senseng Jugli, a local businessman donated the land and Chumkam Thungkhang, a well-wisher of Miao Diocese, offered the help with construction and Dr. Betty Joseph of Krick and Bourry Hospital, Injan gifted the statue.

“This indeed is a happy moment for all of us. With this grotto we are able to participate in the universal celebration of the Year of St. Joseph from the last corner of India”, said Chophasey Lisu, a public leader from Kharsang town.

The youth and women religious gathered for the blessing led the prayers with St. Joseph’s Rosary, Litany of St. Joseph and with the Year of St. Joseph Prayer.

The diocese of Miao has planned a series of animation, retreats, pilgrimage and seminars to mark the Year of St. Joseph. This roadside grotto is the first in that direction.