By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Amidst the thrill and excitement of a new Pope in the Catholic Church, the Catholic community of Ri-Bhoi District of Meghalaya had other reasons to celebrate as well. The centenary of the coming of the faith in Ri-Bhoi and the ordination to priesthood of Fr. Gabriel Jalong SDB. The double celebration of the centenary and the priestly ordination was held at the Assumption Parish, Nongpoh on Sunday.
Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong was the main celebrant at the altar. In his sermon, he narrated the spread of evangelization in the remotest corners of the district. He said that the hard work and dedication of the early missionary has bore good fruits in the last 100 years. The Archbishop mentioned the contribution of the Church in the fields of education and social services in the district. During the Holy Mass, there was the ordination of Fr.Gabriel Jalong. The large gathering that gathered to witness the double celebration was the outcome of the evangelization that the early missionaries undertook in spreading the good news of salvation. Among the early converts to Christianity was a living legend, Rev Fr. Sylvanus Sngi Lyngdoh, a 94 year old Salesian Priest who was also present for the celebration. Fr. Sngi said that he was extremely happy to be alive to see the 100 years celebration of the coming of the faith to the district.
Those present in the celebration were Most Rev. John Moolachira, Archbishop of Guwahati Archdiocese, Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil SDB, the Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati, Most Rev. George Palliparambil SDB, the Bishop of Miao Diocese of Arunachal Pradesh, Fr. John Timung, the Vicar General of Diphu Diocese, Fr. George Maliekal SDB, the Provincial of Don Bosco, Silchar Province, a large number of priests and sisters. Vincent Pala, the honourable member of the Parliament was also present for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.