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NEW CHURCH INAUGURATED AND BLESSED AT MANDWI
Shillong 2 May: A new and a magnificent Parish Church, dedicated to Mary Help of...
On 01st September 2008, Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala announced the formation of the new Parish of Mandwi (Tripura) and placed it under the care of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Guwahati Province. Fr. Thomas Lakra was appointed its first Parish Priest and Fr. George Rodrigues, the Assistant Pastor. The Parish area was carved out of Mariamnagar Parish and Moharpara Parish. On 18th September 2008, Fr. Mackley Gomes and Fr. George Rodrigues came to the site for the laying of the foundation stone of what was to become the temporary parish residence. The blessing of the land and the beginning of the temporary residence was done by Fr. George Rodrigues, the Assistant Parish Priest of Mandwi. Fr. Thomas Lakra, the Parish Priest was sick and could not be present at the occasion. On 28th September 2008, the few Catholics of the area and the people of Mandwi accorded an official welcome to Fr. Thomas Lakra (Parish Priest) and Fr. George Rodrigues (Assistant Parish Priest). After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the reception, the people took the priests in a joyous procession to two hotels in the town where everyone was given lunch. In the afternoon, both priests and elders met the Executive Member of ADC (Autonomous District Council) Mr. Radhacharan Debbarma. Later they went to the house of the President of the Catholic Community of Mandwi, Mr. Beloni.
The construction of the residence of the confreres, the school and a common hall (meant to be used also as the church) began soon. The school began to function. Fr. Suman Kiro took charge as the HM of the School in January 2012. Fr. Rodrigues George was transferred in May 2013 and Fr. Remol Marak was appointed Parish Priest. Fr. Suman was transferred to Saiha in May 2015. Fr. Dinesh Narzary reached Mandwi in February 2014 (Asst Parish Priest and Asst HM) and took charge as the HM in May 2015.
The dialogue with FMA is completed and it is agreed that they will set up the convent at Mandwi Parish Centre and will collaborate with the SDB in the Parish ministry, collaborate in the school and be in charge of the Girls Hostel. The initiative was taken by Fr. George Maliekal, Provincial and a verbal agreement is arrived at between Fr. George Maliekal, Salesian Provincial and Sr. Isabella Suja, the FMA Provincial. A joint visit (Fr. George Maliekal & Fr. James Thyrniang, Economer and Sr. Marcellina Sangma FMA Economer & St. Wismary, Provincial Secretary) was made to Mandwi on 14th February 2017 to see to the arrangements for the beginning of FMA ministry. The FMA are expected to reach Mandwi in August 2017.
The Parish gives priority to evangelization and catechesis. It is a growing parish, each year average of 100 adult baptisms are conferred. The Centre requires adequate infrastructure and facilities. The Centre also suffered (and still suffers) from the division of Catholic community, caused by the SDB Confrere, Fr. KS Francis. For breach of religious discipline, Fr. Francis was dismissed from the Salesian Congregation in 2011. He continues to exercise his ministry in the area in disobedience to the authorities.