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Joint Fellowship cum Recollection for Catholic Youth
Shillong 28 March: A Joint Fellowship cum Recollection for Catholic Youth of Lawngtlai, Siaha &...
Lawngtlai was erected as a quasi Parish by Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl on 27 December 1998. Fr. Puthenthara James was its first Parish Priest and Fr. Benedict Toppo the Assistant. The Parish is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. The Salesian community was canonically recognized in 2008 with St. John Bosco as the patron.
In 1991, Fr. Anthony Valluran reached Saiha in order to find out the possibilities of beginning Salesian apostolate in Mizoram. As he began his stay at Saiha, he used to visit Lawngtlai as there were few Catholics already. He had contacts with the Catholics as well as the officials of the area. The District Council authorities as well as the people of the area were eager for a Don Bosco Institution at Lawngtlai. Prominent Catholics like Mr. Francis Thantluanga, Mr. Albert Thanvawra and Mr. M.C. Zathawna assisted Fr. Anthony in the initiative.
On 20 March 1994, Fr. Alexis Sanglura (Assistant priest at Saiha) began the Don Bosco School at Lawngtlai. The school began in the donated property that belonged to a Trust. The Nightingale School, conducted by the Trust was handed over to the Catholic Church. The school changed its name to Don Bosco School and began with Class KG. Fr. Sanglura brought to completion the new school as well as church buildings by February 1995. But a disaster struck on 17 May 1995. Due to incessant rain and an earthquake, the new buildings were totally destroyed. Temporarily the school functioned in the Southern Baptist High School. Then in 1996, the school was accommodated within the Regional High School Lawngtlai. Finally, the Pastorate Church and the compound of the Presbyterians were bought by the Salesian Province of Guwahati for Rs.4.5 lakhs. Fr. James Puthenthara from Saiha was transferred to Lawngtlai with a mandate to develop it as a new centre. On 5 May 1998, he began to stay at Lawngtlai, initially in the house of Mr. C. Changlura, a local Catholic leader.
A new chapel of bamboo and tin was constructed by the Catholics in the place of the old church which was destroyed. It was used as parish church till the end of 2003. In September 1998, Fr. Benedict Toppo was sent as the Assistant priest. On 23 July 1999, Bro. Mathew Vazhamplackal joined the community as the Administrator. In the following years Fr. Alexius Dkhar and Fr. Wilson Panthaluparambil worked at Lawngtlai.
In the year 2000, Fr. Sanglura laid the foundation and built two classrooms with the building materials donated by Mr. P.P. John from Aizawl. The school building was brought to completion with the financial assistance from Manos Unidos and other agencies channeled by the Salesian Province of Guwahati.
In 2001, a plot of land was bought from Mr. Thanngruma to construct the residence for the confreres cum hostel for the boys. Mr. G.M. Ghorai, architect and contractor constructed the building. This building was constructed with the financial assistance from the Salesian Society and other benefactors like Mr. Walter Lenz from Australia, Fr. Stanley Wu and others.
In 2002, another piece of land was bought to construct a hostel for girls. It is looked after by Mr. Nabin Marak, a teacher of Don Bosco School. This hostel also takes care of boys from the primary section.
The Salesian presence at Lawngtlai was recognized as a canonical community in 2008 with Fr. Anthony Thekkel as the Rector and Headmaster, and Fr. Giles Thyrniang as the Parish Priest.