By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The Annual Eucharistic procession which coincided with the conclusion of the four-day North East Regional Mission Congress 2011, organised by fifteen Catholic Dioceses of the North Eastern region here on Sunday witnessed thousands of faithful in a procession starting from the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians and all along Laitumkhrah. The congregation sang hymns and prayed all through the route and later converged at Calvary for the Benediction.
Earlier in the morning, a Holy Mass was held at Calvary in front of the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians.
The Archbishop of Guwahati Archdiocese, Rev Thomas Menamparampil, was the main celebrant at the Holy Mass. Bishops from across the North East were co-celebrants.
Delivering a homily at the Holy Mass, Rev Menamparampil urged the faithful to respect the cultures of others and to imbibe the ethical values of all cultures which speak of truth, honesty and peace. These values, he said, should be cherished and handed down to the next generation.
“Give your good examples and the good things you teach will pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that the faithful should sanctify their relationship in the family and live in peaceful co-existence with their neighbours.
On the youth situation, the North East Regional Mission Congress strongly resolved that the youth power should be harnessed to streamline them for the challenges they encounter in their daily lives.
On Corruption, the Congress has been very vocal in condemning it as it is rampant in public life. The Congress urged all sections of the people, particularly the Christian community of the region, to uphold probity according to the social teachings of the Church.
National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Member, Dr Cyriac Thomas, who addressed the Congress impressed upon the Catholic community to practice social justice in their educational institutions without compromising the educational standards.
On Health and Family Welfare, health experts of the Church in the region underscored the need to strengthen the health ministry in the inaccessible areas across the region.
The Congress further decided that great care will be given to preventive measures in the health sector. A Health Workers’ Forum is to be formed for better coordination with the North East Catholic Health Association.
Concerned with the alarming incidence of HIV/AIDS and drug addiction, especially among the youth of the region, the Congress expressed the urgency to sensitize the young and old about the dangers of these scourges. The Church intends to launch awareness programmes, preventive and curative measures.
Moreover, the Congress expressed the need of maintaining peace and harmony to ensure socio-economic development of the region.