Centenary Celebration – Byndihati, Jaintia Hills Region
Shillong 13 January 2022: The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDBs) of Jaintia Hills Region celebrated the Centenary of the arrival of the Salesians in North East India on 13th January, 2022 at Don Bosco Centre, Byndihati. The celebration started at 9:30am with the Animation of the new Aspirants of the Salesian Cooperators from Byndihati village. Mr. Antony Laloo, the former Provincial Coordinator of the Cooperators, animated the new Aspirants.
After the Animation Programme there was the Holy Mass at 11:00am which was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Ioannis Warpakma, the Rector and Parish Priest of Khliehriat Parish and concelebrated by the priests from other communities and presences. On this solemn occasion, the SDBs were joined by the DSH Sisters who work in the college, Salesian Cooperators from Khliehriat Unit, Mr. Antony Laloo representative of the Provincial Coordinator and the new Aspirants of the Cooperators from Byndihati village. In his introduction to the Holy Mass, Cl. Venantius Sympli greeted and welcomed everyone on behalf of the Salesians. Fr. Ioannis Warpakma, in his introductory remarks, highlighted the hardwork and zeal of the missionaries. He said that it was not only missionaries coming from abroad, but our own Indian missionaries had also contributed greatly. He shared his personal experiences as a little boy on how Archbishop Hubert D’Rosario of Shillong toured and spent time in the villages. During the homily, Rev. Fr. George Shining Lyngkhoi stressed that the Church is missionary in nature and further stated that Jesus Himself was a Missionary sent by the Father and He commissioned that missionary mandate to His disciples (Mt.28:20). Basing on the same missionary mandate, Fr. Lyngkhoi elaborated Salesian Missions in North East India in three points: first, the short history of the Church since the Salvatorian missionaries up to the arrival of the Salesians; second, the growth of the Church and rootedness of the faith during the Salesians; and third, the role of Mary as North East Indian often called ‘the Miracle of Mary Help of Christians’. During the Offertory rite, the new Aspirants handed over their application forms to formally begin their aspirantate as Salesian Cooperators.
After the Holy Mass, there was a short programme in which the Centenary Anthem and the Cooperators Anthem were sung. In his speech, Fr. George Maliekal congratulated the 18 new Aspirants from Byndihati village. He said that instead of raising a Don Bosco statue as the Centenary monument, the new Aspirants had become the living monuments of St. John Bosco. Mr. Antony Laloo also greeted the Salesians and expressed his joy of having participated in the historic moment of the Centenary. He acknowledged the call to be a Salesian Cooperator as a beautiful gift and a blessing for him and his family. After the Programme, there was the hoisting of the Centenary Flag by the leaders of the four Salesian communities in Jaintia Hills. The celebration was concluded with a solemn fraternal meal.
The Centenary Celebration was a happy occasion for everyone. There was a sense of joy and satisfaction as they became a part of the mission and a part of the Salesian family and spirituality. Long live Don Bosco!
The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDBs) of Jaintia Hills Region celebrated the Centenary of the arrival of the Salesians in North East India on 13th January, 2022 at Don Bosco Centre, Byndihati. The celebration started at 9:30am with the Animation of the new Aspirants of the Salesian Cooperators from Byndihati village. Mr. Antony Laloo, the former Provincial Coordinator of the Cooperators, animated the new Aspirants.