Editorial ................................ 01 Fr. M.C. Golden Jubilee in Rome..... 02 Jubilee: Fr. Tom and Fr. Christudoss.07 Don Bosco, Khobong...................... 09 St. Thomas, Sadiya......................... 10 Mother Mary & Religious life......... 13 Mary’s Flesh ................................ 14 DBC, Golaghat Honours St. Fusco... 15 Bosco B.Ed: Foundation Day 2017.. 17 DB: Apostle of the Word................ 18 DB-TECH AIDA: Graduation Day...... 19 Youth Pasch in Dimapur................. 19 Easter Blessings, CKC, Kohima........ 20 Sivasagar Darshan.......................... 21 Career Planning & Skill Devt........... 22 SP. Retreat for Practical Trainees.... 23 Youth Alive at DBC, Kohima............ 23 SCHE: Freshers’ & Academic Day.... 24 Fr. Dr. C.P. Anto: National Award... 25 NESCOM General Body Meet......... 25 Kudos: Fr. C. D. Mathai................... 26 Lighter Mood................................. 26 Congrats to Fr. Joy Sebastian.......... 26 Congrats to DBI DL........................ 26 HSLC & HSSLC Results, IND 2017 . .. 27
Editor Fr. Jonas Kerketta sdb Sub - Editor Fr. Joseph Thuruthel sdb Design & Lay Out Fr. Christudoss sdb Publisher Fr. Provincial Don Bosco Provincial House PB. 40, Dimapur -797112, Nagaland Circulation Manager Fr. Benny Karianattu sdb Editorial Team Fr. R. K. G. Nicholas sdb Fr. Christudoss sdb Fr. Paul Panii sdb Printing Rainbow Advertising, Guwahati-1 Editorial Office Bosco Communications Provincial House, Dimapur, Nagaland +91 -9436062842 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGING THE UNBRIDGED After having walked two kilometers on the DholaSadiya bridge on 17 May 2017, Fr. Neljen Anthony, Headmaster of St. Thomas School, Sadiya, told the Dimapur Links editor, “This must be reported – now Sadiya is concretely linked to Dimapur Province”. Yes, the 9.15 kms long Dhola-Sadiya bridge, longest in India, being 3.55 kms longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link over Mahim Bay in Mumbai, links (a) northern and southern portions of Assam’s Tinsukia district, (b) eastern Assam with eastern Arunachal Pradesh, (c) northern and southern areas of the Salesian Province of Dimapur in its eastern front. The nearest Salesian presences to the new bridge are St. Thomas School at Shantipur/Sadiya on the northern side and Khobong Parish in the southern side of the bridge. This magnificent bridge, constructed between 2011 and 2017 (90% by the Congress Government and 10% by the present dispensation) at the cost Rs. 2,056 crores, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May 2017. Under the aegis of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in public private partnership (PPP) with Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd., the bridge was built with 30,000 tonnes of steel and imported hydraulic rigs, providing seismic buffers in all its 182 pillars since Northeast India is highly earthquakeprone. Situated 540 kms east of Guwahati, 300 kms east of Itanagar and 375 kms east of the Kolia Bhomora bridge near Tezpur, this robust bridge will facilitate movements of 60 tonne battle tanks and troops to the Chinese border (just 100 kms away) in the Wallong-Kibithu sector in southern Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier it required nearly 6 hours to go from Sadiya to Tinsukia town, crossing the Brahmaputra by ferry service itself taking around two hours. Now people can travel between Sadiya and Tinsukia in around 2.5 hrs, by crossing the river via the new bridge in just 30 minutes! But development has its darker side too. When a bridge was constructed on Dihing river in upper Assam, some boatmen lost their jobs. Jahnu Barua made a film, Xagoroloi Bohudoor (It’s Very Far to the Sea) in 1995 to highlight the plight of these displaced people. The film won national and international awards: (1) National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese, (2) National Film Award for Best Director – Jahnu Barua, (3) GETZ Prize (31st Chicago International Film Festival), (4) Pri Do Public Award (Best Film: Nantes Film Festival, France), etc. Hope someone (especially the government) will remember to rehabilitate thousands of people – boatmen, ferry operators, helmsmen, porters, paan kiosk owners, dhaba owners, managers and workers, etc., who lost their livelihood with the construction of the new bridge. Their saviours will be the human bridges. We may recall the divine-human living bridges. Christ rightly claimed to be the bridge between God and mankind (Jn. 14:6). We are familiar also with St. Louis de Montfort’s dictum “To Jesus through Mary.” Mother Mary has always been a reliable bridge, starting from the Annunciation Fiat (Lk. 1:26 – 38), the Wedding at Cana (Jn. 2:1 – 11) etc. The prophets and saints were bridges between God and mankind. Today’s world needs both concrete bridges and (perhaps more) the human/spiritual bridges of reconciliation and rehabilitation. In their unique ways our Jubilarians of 2017: Frs. Kakkanatt Chacko, Karthikapallil Thomas, Manianchira Sebastian, Vattoth Thomas, Menamparampil George (MC), Kallarackal Job, Kalluvelil Thomas, Elow Samuel, Salew Peter, and Anthony Christudoss have been bridges in the life of many people particularly the youth. May their examples inspire us to do like-wise.
Jonas Kerketta sdb
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 1
FR. M. C. GEORGE’S GOLDEN JUBILEE IN ROME The golden jubilee of the religious profession of Fr. George Menamparampil SDB, currently in the Mission Department of the Salesian Generalate in Rome, and his novitiate companion Fr. Scaria Thuruthiyil SDB, Professor of Philosophy at the Salesian Pontifical University, was celebrated on 10 May 2017 in the Camerette di Don Bosco (‘Rooms of Don Bosco’) in the basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rome. The event was organized by the Salesians of Dimapur Province in Rome, to join Fr. M. C. George in thanking God for the 50 years of Salesian religious life. It consisted of votive Mass in honour of Don Bosco, renewal of the religious profession by the jubilarians, a homily by Fr. George, and the blessing of Mary Help of Christians at the end of the Mass. Fr. George was born on 5 February 1949 at Velliyappally, Pala, Kerala, to Thomas Cheriyathu Menamparampil and Annamma Chunkapura as the
Dimapur Links: April - June 20172
7th of their 12 children. Fr. George’s family belongs to the ancient Christian community of Kerala, linked to St. Thomas the Apostle. The parents formed their children in solid Christian and moral values which led to flourishing religious and priestly vocations. In fact, among the children one is a bishop: the retired archbishop Thomas Menamparampil sdb; two priests: Fr. Michael Menamparampil of the diocese of Ooty, Tamil Nadu, and Fr. George the jubilarian; and a nun: Sr. Sulata (Eliamma) SNDP (Soeurs de Notre Dame de Paris) of Patna province, who died some years ago aged 50. At the age of 11 George joined the Salesians of Don Bosco of Calcutta Province as an aspirant. He studied at Bandel, West Bengal, from 1960-1963, and at Savio Juniorate, Shillong, from 1963-1966. He entered the novitiate at Sunnyside, Upper Shillong in 1966 and made his first profession on 8 May 1967, under novice master Fr. John Med. He studied philosophy at Salesian
College, Sonada (1967-1969), university studies at Sacred Heart College, Tiruppattur and graduated with a specialisation in Mathematics. He did his practical training at Don Bosco, Chingmeirong, Imphal (19721974). He made his perpetual profession in 1973. He did his theological studies at Kristu Jyothi College, Bangalore (1974-1978). As Deacon he taught at Don Bosco School, Mao (1978-1979). He was ordained priest on 2 May 1979 by Bishop Sebastian Vayalil of Pala diocese. His first years as priest were spent at Kharbandi Don Bosco Technical School, Bhutan (1979-1981), and at Don Bosco, Chingmeirong as Headmaster and assistant parish priest. He later became parish priest of Mary Immaculate Parish, Chingmeirong, and Auxilium Parish, Tamenglong. He was Principal at Don Bosco Chingmeirong, Don Bosco Langjing, Don Bosco Phayeng and Don Bosco Tamenglong in Manipur. He served as Rector at Don Bosco Imphal for three terms: 1984-1987; 2002-2005 and 2005-2008. He was also Rector of Don Bosco Tamenglong (19881989). Over the years he also worked as assistant parish priest of Mary Immaculate Parish in Imphal, Mary Help of Christians parish at Borduria in Arunachal Pradesh (1997-1998) and Auxilium parish at Tamenlgong (2008-2009). From 1989 to 1997 he was the World Chaplain of the International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth (IMCARY/MIJARC) headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. In this capacity he toured 39 countries, planned, organized, participated in and guided seminars on various themes of concern to the rural youth, at diocesan, national, continental and world levels. He also learned French, Spanish and Flemish during this period. One of his important
contributions to MIJARC was to expand the movement to many English speaking countries of Asia. From 1998-2002 he was part of the DBYA National Team headquartered in Delhi. He coordinated the dimension of “Groups and Movements” including Scouting and PALS. For three years he published a leaflet called Youth Alive, later published as a book. To facilitate the work of the youth animators, he translated from Spanish into English 10 volumes of a series of 13 books, with the title Games for Growth. Moreover, between 1998 and 2002 he coordinated all the works of the Don Bosco National Forum ‘Young at Risk’ (YaR) – street children, slum children, drug addicts, HIV-infected, school dropouts, tribals, dalits, orphans, the handicapped etc. – being its founder and first national co-ordinator. He also started the publication of a quarterly for the animation and co-ordination of the work for the ‘Young at Risk’ – YAR, and organized a national consultation on YaR. He was the Founder and Chief Trustee of BOSCO AID TRUST for fundraising for religious programmes of Salesian institutions from 2009-2016. Normally, the government does not donate to religious organisations. Hence, Bosco Aid Trust was registered as a Christian religious trust, meant precisely to raise funds for our religious needs. This allows great transparency in the fundraising operations of Don Bosco. It was officially registered in 2010 and has its main office in Delhi.
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 3
Fr. George’s main contributions are in the fields of youth pastoral ministry and education. From 1983 he was part of the youth animation team of Northeast India. In the Northeast, especially in the Salesian Province of Dimapur, he conducted numerous animation programmes for youth in schools and parishes on a wide variety of topics. In Manipur he launched the inter-school meets for sports, catechism, Bible studies, performing arts, etc., which began as a programme of Salesian schools, was extended to the entire diocese of Imphal.
He was the Founder and Chief Trustee of BOSCO AID TRUST for fundraising for religious programmes of Salesian institutions from 20092016. Normally, the government does not donate to religious organisations. Hence, Bosco Aid Trust was registered as a Christian religious trust, meant precisely to raise funds for our religious needs. This allows great transparency in the fundraising operations of Don Bosco. It was officially registered in 2010 and has its main office in Delhi. He was also the Founder, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of BOSCONET from 2009-2016. It is a wing of Don Bosco India, for fundraising within India to reduce the dependence of Indian Salesians on external support for the maintenance and expansion of their services in India. Its ultimate aim is to help Salesian works even outside of the subcontinent. Its main office is in New Delhi. As director of BOSCONET, he developed, along with the DBYA and the donor agency, a systematic programme of assessment of all the Don Bosco schools of India, followed up with the training of principals, second line of leadership of schools and teachers – a process that is still going on. Moreover, he found resources for DB Tech to start a pilot project of Tele-classrooms for short term job-oriented vocational courses. He was also the editor-in-chief of BoscoNet quarterly. Since 2 June 2016 he is part of the Salesian Mission office in Rome, co-ordinating the 30 plus fundraising offices of the Salesians of Don Bosco around the world (DBN) and liaises between the DBN and the Rector Major’s General Council. He also assists the Congregation’s representatives at international bodies like, the UNO, ECOSOC (The United Nations Economic and Social Council), etc.
Dimapur Links: April - June 20174
Again in Manipur, he initiated the cost-effective systems of education for the marginalised, such as, literacy centres, intensive course, adoption of schools, educational sponsorship of children, mobile library, counselling in schools, community schools and miniyouth centres. He also introduced counselling in the schools of Manipur. Through it he also cared for HIV/ AIDS infected or affected children, widows and women. He was the Founder-Director of the organisation called BOSCO MANGAAL which carried out these programmes. It was an original initiative in the sense that it took schooling to the children instead of bringing them to school. It was original because it welcomed and invited collaboration, participation and ownership of the programme by individuals and organizations that were lay, secular, cultural, youth, women, Hindu, Christians of other denominations, civil society, etc. It was original because it did not preach anything in words, but through witness of service to the needy without any discrimination. It also changed the image of Don Bosco and of the Catholic Church in Manipur and made it much safer for Salesians, Catholic priests and nuns to live and work in Imphal.
For a year-and-a-half Fr. George was the National Secretary and Treasurer of the All India Association of Catholic Schools (AINACS). In this capacity he organised two national conventions of heads of schools: in Lucknow and in Kochi, and supervised the construction of the national headquarters of AINACS. He was part of the Advisory Committee of NEROCA club (Manipur), and a member of the Manipur Board of Secondary Education’s team to revise English textbooks. He corrected the English textbooks of the Board of Secondary Education of Manipur, wrote two series of textbooks from class I to class X for the subject of Moral Science (Value Education). These books have been used in many schools in India and in three foreign countries. To date some 4,000,000 copies have been sold. Right now approximately 330,000 students are studying one or another of these books. Another successful series on value education is the Youth Alive! His introduction of computer courses at school level in Don Bosco Chingmeirong, Imphal, in 1986 (the first school in Northeast India to do so) was a visionary initiative to benefit numerous students. Besides teaching and school administration, he has conducted numerous teacher training programmes for teachers in the Salesian province of Dimapur and Northeast India, and some colleges in India. He introduced a regular programme of counselling in 23 schools, 20 by paid staff, two by a volunteer and one by himself. Heads of schools and teachers were highly appreciative of this service as many students were rescued from various problems and succeeded in their studies due these counselling programmes.
He was part of the Advisory Committee of NEROCA club (Manipur), and a member of the Manipur Board of Secondary Education’s team to revise English textbooks. He corrected the English textbooks of the Board of Secondary Education of Manipur, wrote two series of textbooks from class I to class X for the subject of Moral Science (Value Education). These books have been used in many schools in India and in three foreign countries. To date some 4,000,000 copies have been sold. Right now approximately 330,000 students are studying one or another of these books. Another successful series on value education is the Youth Alive! His introduction of computer courses at school level in Don Bosco Chingmeirong, Imphal, in 1986 (the first school in Northeast India to do so) was a visionary initiative to benefit numerous students. Besides teaching and school administration, he has conducted numerous teacher training programmes for teachers in the Salesian province of Dimapur and Northeast India, and some colleges in India. He introduced a regular programme of counselling in 23 schools, 20 by paid staff, two by a volunteer and one by himself. Heads of schools and teachers were highly appreciative of this service as many students were rescued from various problems and succeeded in their studies due these counselling programmes. Looking back at the past 50 years, Fr. George affirms that, despite his mistakes and failures, God has been really good to him and has used him to do much good. He says: “I realize how, throughout these 50 years, God has used me, a broken pen, to write whatever He wanted to.” He also says that God rescued and protected him from many dangers, errors and failures, and kept him going in his service. He
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 5
earnestly hopes that the good he has been able to do sians, Fr. George had this to say: to people is more than the harm he might have done to them. Do not go ahead in your vocation if you are not happy with what you are doing right now. Let not your mis Among the things that give him greatest sat- takes and failures discourage you; every day is a strugisfaction as a Salesian religious, are (1) that he is still gle, but if you enjoy what you are doing RIGHT NOW, alive, and is still a Salesian priest despite many dis- and you are committed to the vision and mission of tractions in his priestly and religious life; (2) the fact Jesus and Don Bosco, go ahead. They forgive you and that so many good people, in times of their difficulty will be by your side though you do not often see them – financial, emotional, psychological and spiritual – or feel their presence. Do not say “no” to any challenge freely approached him while they had the freedom you are asked to face. Do not refuse to attempt someto go to others closer to them, more capable, more thing because you feel you do not have the talents or spiritual and holier than he, is a source of great satis- the knowledge to handle it. Work really hard at it, use faction for him; (3) that he has been of great service your creativity: you will find the way. Use every opporto a lot of economically poor, personally and through tunity. If you waste the good opportunities that come the ministries which he organized, is another source your way, you are committing the worst sort of crime. of satisfaction in life; (4) that it is very satisfying to Even the challenges, difficulties and failures are actulook back at what he has done in life without any for- ally opportunities to discover new capabilities in you. mal qualification, except a graduate degree: this made It is the overcoming of challenges that builds you up. him work harder, read more, look for solutions more Keep your eyes and heart focused on the priority target seriously, use his intelligence and creativity, and thus of Don Bosco – the poor and needy. Love them; serve achieve some success. He neither wasted much money them; make sacrifices for them; exploit all your powof the congregation to do formal studies nor lost years ers for them – intelligence, health, creativity. Learn as of productive work acquiring degrees. He learned many languages as you can, well or just sufficient to say enough by his own effort to find his way forward. a few words and get closer to people. Do not hesitate to love. It is love that drives the world forward. When asked for an advice to the young Sale-
Dimapur Links: April - June 20176
JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS FOR FR. TOM AND FR. CHRISTUDOSS 27 May 2017 was a day of joyous festivity for Salesian College, Dimapur. Rev. Fr. Tom Karthik, Rector, celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of his Religious Profession and Golden Jubilee of Priesthood. Rev. Fr. Anthony Christudoss, Youth Animator, celebrated Silver Jubilee of his Religious Profession. Moreover, on the same day Fr. V. M. Joseph, the confessor too kept his birthday.
by the presence of two prelates namely, Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati Archdiocese and Bishop James Thoppil of Kohima Diocese
The felicitation programme was colourful and entertaining. During the programme Bishop James Thoppil shared his experiences with Fr. Tom and also highlighted the qualities that he possessed. What he admired most in Fr. Tom was his great love for the The crowning moment of the day was the Holy Brother-students. As a proof he cited the incident of Mass. It was presided over by the Golden Jubilarian Fr. how Fr. Tom carried 200 plastic cups for the Christ Tom and concelebrated by Fr. Christudoss. Archbish- King community when he returned from the United op John Moolachira of Guwahati Archdiocese and States! After his speech Fr. Tom’s book entitled “Meetmany Diocesan Priests who are past pupils of Fr. Tom, ing God in Prayer” was also released by Bishop James. as well as many Salesians and other Religious Priests concelebrated. The homily was eloquently delivered by During the felicitation programme, Fr. Tom Archbishop John Moolachira. In the sermon he spoke Karthik, the Diamond and Golden Jubilarian sponabout his experiences with Fr. Tom. He said he and taneously addressed the festive gathering: “To be many priests of his age and younger had Fr. Tom as a priest for 50 years involves lots of responsibilian able and inspiring Rector at Christ King College in ties. That’s what I feel. There is great joy when one Shillong from1972 onwards. After 45 years he is pleas- reaches 50 years. But to reach those 50 years I had antly surprised to find Fr. Tom still a Rector, that too many struggles. There were moments of discouragein a philosophate like Christ King College, Shillong. ment, moments of doubts, and yet what I felt was that the Lord was with me as it is written in the al The solemn Mass was followed by a felicitation tar panel today ‘I Thank Him For His Faithfulness’. programme for the Jubilarians. The event was graced
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 7
I left home when I was 13 years old. We said we were going to the missions but did not know where exactly. A priest came and told us ‘come to the missions’. We thought going there meant we would start preaching the Word of God and baptize people. But when we reached Bandel, we had to attend classes daily, starting from class 6. Then we went to Sonada for High School studies. Next we went to Sunnyside, Shillong. We were the first batch of novices there under Fr. Joseph Bacchiarello as novice master. Then we went back to Sonada for philosophical studies. Next I was sent to Bandel as Assistant to the Aspirants. I also worked in Savio Juniorate, Shillong. In 1972 I was appointed Rector of Christ King College, Shillong where Archbishop John Moolachira, Bishop James Thoppil and all the Fathers who have come from Shillong, were students. And I went to different missions like Jorhat, Imphal, Kohima, Amguri, and Itanagar. I enjoyed missionary life. Many persons whom I knew in the missions, helped me in my mission work. And I came here to Salesian College in 2013. I am completing 4th year and going to begin 5th year in Salesian College. Brothers are formed here and sent for practical training. I would like to thank God for His great grace and Our Blessed Mother. My ordination motto was, “With Mary as my Guide”. There was a Marian Congress when we were in Sonada as Brothers. They took a motto in Latin “Maria Duce” (Mary leads). This sounded nice and I said, ‘This is what I want – to get hold of Mother Mary and walk with her’. With that motto and with Mary as my helper I have reached this far. I believe that she will continue to guide me till the end because my vocation began with her. When I was a boy in class V, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Blessed Lady came to our parish and there was a kind of service in the church. A priest came to the statue and said something that struck me, ‘If you go
Dimapur Links: April - June 20178
for five first Saturdays for Confession and Mass, you will surely go to heaven’. ‘This is a type of short cut to heaven’ I said to myself ‘let me try’. So I went on five first Saturdays for Confession, Mass and Communion. I had to walk long across the paddy fields, cross a river, go to the church and come back for breakfast, etc. It was a very tough thing to do. But I said if after the five first Saturdays’ devotion we can go to heaven, then what is the problem! And after the 5th first Saturday, a Father came looking for good boys. I did not know where we would go. But I gave my name and was selected. And we came to Bandel, to the Shrine of Our Lady. That was a sign for me, ‘You want to go to heaven? Go, become a priest, a Salesian’. There I studied and Mary’s promise to take me to heaven gave me my vocation. I became a priest. And during these 50 years I have tried my best to be good to people, in formation houses mostly. That’s why I have so many past pupils now because I had been Rector in Christ King College. Then there are the Brothers here in Salesian College. There are Fathers occupying important positions like Fr. M. P. Thomas in Amguri pre-novitiate and the novice master in Sunnyside, Shillong (Fr. L. B. Anthony) and others. They were my students in Savio Juniorate. Some of my pupils have become Bishops, like the two here, and priests working all over Northeast India. That was also a promise fulfilled. When I was in Jorhat as Parish Priest, Fr. Rubio (Ignatius) asked me to go to the seminary as Rector. I was unwilling to go to seminary because my ambition was to become a missionary. But Fr. Rubio said ‘If you are in the mission, you’ll be one missionary. But in Christ King College you’ll become a father of many missionaries’. And that promise is fulfilled now. See the two Bishops here, missionaries, product of the call given to me by Fr. Rubio. There is also the Bishop of Tezpur (Bp. Michael Akasius), Bishop of Jowai (Bp. Victor Lyngdoh) and Bishop Joseph Aind of Dibrugarh, who have shared life with me as a priest. I thank God, I thank all of them and I thank you all, Brothers and Sisters for coming today to celebrate with me. Kindly continue to thank God for all the blessings He has given to me. May the Lord be praised and may His
When I was in Jorhat as Parish Priest, Fr. Rubio (Ignatius) asked me to go to the seminary as Rector. I was unwilling to go to seminary because my ambition was to become a missionary. But Fr. Rubio said ‘If you are in the mission, you’ll be one missionary. But in Christ King College you’ll become a father of many missionaries’. And that promise is fulfilled now. See the two Bishops here, missionaries, product of the call given to me by Fr. Rubio. There is also the Bishop of Tezpur (Bp. Michael Akasius), Bishop of Jowai (Bp. Victor Lyngdoh) and Bishop Joseph Aind of Dibrugarh, who have shared life with me as a priest. I thank God, I thank all of them and I thank you all, Brothers and Sisters for coming today to celebrate with me. Kindly continue to thank God for all the blessings He has given to me. May the Lord be praised and may His name spread to whole of Northeast India. May many more people come to know and love Him. Thank you. Please thank the Lord for what He has done for me”. Both the Jubilarians are grateful to God for all his blessings and goodness. They also thanked the people for their love, care and support. The Jubilee celebration was a memorable as well as an inspiring event for all the people to serve in the Lord’s vineyard faithfully. Benjamin Kamei sdb, Salesian College, Dimapur
DON BOSCO, KHOBONG Don Bosco Khobong (Diocese of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia district in Assam) is located at a distance of 15 kms from Don Bosco Doom Dooma and just 10 kms from the “zero point” of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, thus being the nearest Salesian presence to the new bridge in the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. On 8 October 2006, 10 bighas of land at Khobong was bought from Mr. Sukhidhar Sonowal, Mr. Ajit Sonowal and Mr. Dharonidas Boruah, with th e plan of building a school and parish. In 2007 Fr. Jerome Minj sdb was appointed as in-charge of Khobong but he supervised the constructions there from Doom Dooma. In March 2008 he and Fr. Chempalayil Paulinus sdb began residing at Khobong. In May of the same year Fr. Louis Tirkey sdb replaced Fr. Paulinus as Asst. to Fr. Jerome. In May 2013 Fr. Alex Pulimoottil sdb took over from Fr. Jerome as In-charge and Parish Priest. In 2015 when Fr. Louis Tirkey went for rest to Don Bosco, Dibrugarh, Fr. Theophilus Ganlari replaced him as Asst.
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 9
On 26 June 2011 the beautiful parish church was inaugurated by Mr. and Mrs. Philip Thetipuzha (friends of Fr. Job Kallarackal sdb) who helped to build it. It was blessed by Bishop Joseph Aind SDB, DD of Dibrugarh. The Parish of Mary Help of Christians, Khobong has over 3,500 Catholics, mostly Adivasis in 14 communities, mainly in the tea gardens. There are 14 catechists and one head catechist to assist the priests in the pastoral care of the flock. Don Bosco Primary School, Khobong, established in 2010, has 350 students from LKG to class 6. They are taught by nine dedicated teachers. The main pastoral activities of Don Bosco Khobong include the parish, pastoral work and evangelization, village Masses, family visits, animation of catechists, and the Primary School. The beauty of Don Bosco Khobong consists in the fact that it is right in the midst of the people – surrounded by tea gardens and villages. And of course, it is now the nearest gateway to the newly built Dhola-Sadiya bridge! - DL Correspondent
ST. THOMAS SADIYA From ancient times Sadiya was a meeting point of the people from the hills and the plains. Tribes such as Kacharies, Chutiyas, Khamtis and Ahoms had occupied the area for centuries. Around 160 years back the British had their outpost here, where they came by steamers and boats from Calcutta. They had established a beautiful town at Sadiya for enhancing trade prospects with China. Frs. Michel Krick and Augustine Boury, two MEP missionaries, on their way to Tibet passed through Sadiya and were murdered in the Lohit hills in 1854. The Baptists too had a flourishing mission with a school at Sadiya. The vibrant town of Sadiya was swallowed by the ‘thirsty’ waters of Dibang River in 1950. Its only remnants are a few plum trees and thatch grass. Today Dhola and Sadiya are two ghats or embarking/disembarking places for ferries in the southern and northern banks of the Brahmaputra. On 30 March 1982 Fr. Chacko Kakkanatt sdb went from Doom Dooma to Dibang Sapori Island and baptized Mr. Sanjoy Basumatary as Paul, his wife as Mary and their child as Jacinta. Their two elder kids were baptised later in Doom Dooma as Aloysius and Bernadette. In 1982 a total of 24 Bodos received Baptism. The first Mising to be baptised was Mr. Apolo Kuli of Mimang village with his three younger brothers on 16 May 1983.
Dimapur Links: April - June 201710
At people’s request a school was started at Seling village on 9 May 1983 with Mr. Nicodim Purty and Mr. Thomas Kokkapallil as first teachers. But when asked to pay fees most students left and the school limped on with a handful of children. July 3, 1986 was a historic day for Sadiya Mission when it was erected as Parish of St. Thomas with Fr. Chacko as its first Parish Priest. On 13 August 1986 Fr. Chacko came to Dibang Sapori Island with Sr. Agnes Basumatary, Sr. Victoria Kujur, Mr. Johnny Kalapurackal and Mr. Abraham Chakkittakuzhy and resided at Seling in temporary sheds. But Seling had no much future prospects. So, 60 bighas of land was bought at Karmi village. On 13 January 1987, Mgr. Thomas Menamparampil of Dibrugarh blessed the Fathers’ residence with three small rooms, a chapel and a verandah. The school at Seling was closed on 18 March 1987.
Soon it became clear that Karmi could not be a permanent place since communications were difficult and the island of Dibang Sapori itself was being fast eroded by the mighty river. On 6 November 1988 Fr. Paulinus Chempalayil began residing at Shantipur with Mr. Rajen Perme and Mr. Jyotir Sharma. Fr. Chacko continued in Dibang Sapori. On 8 November the Mising community requested for a school.
Fr. Paulinus fell sick and returned to Dibrugarh. On 31 January 1989 the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians left Karmi. On 7 February 1989 Fr. Chacko, after three years of wandering, took permanent residence at the present site between the two towns of Shantipur and Chapakhowa, in the heart of the historical Sadiya, 17 kms from Kundil ghat. On 9 March Fr. Joseph Kindo joined him as Asst. Parish Priest. The foundation for the permanent residence was laid on 14 April. On 1 January 1990 they shifted A school was planned at Karmi village but due to the new residence. On 8 February 1990 St. Thomas to stiff opposition from other schools, it was aborted. School was opened at Shantipur with Fr. Kindo as the Instead, on 18 December 1987 Sr. Mary Topno and Sr. first Headmaster. There were 106 children on the rolls, Sabina Puliany came to study the place for a dispen- with Ms Preeti Barla and Ms Marina Bodra as teachsary. Sr. Mary was later helped by Sr. Albertina and Sr. ers. On 15 February 1990 a boarding was opened in Veronica Lakra. Dibang Sapori with 13 boarders and Mr. Rajen Perme as boarding master. On 21 January 1991 Fr. Joseph On 27 March 1988 Bishop Menamparampil Kindo was transferred and Fr. Nazarius Lakra succame to study further possibilities in the entire Dibang ceeded him. Sapori. On that occasion he baptised some candidates and confirmed the older Catholics. He agreed to start On 31 January Sr. Stella Baxla and Sr. Conthe construction of a common hall from 1 May 1988. stantina Baxla commenced residing in the Confreres’ residence till their new residence was blessed by Mgr. On 16 May 1987, a youth named Sinadhor Menamparapil on 18 August 1991. On 2 March 1991 Perme was brought to Karmi. Through him new com- Fr. Nazarius went to Tinsukia and on 12 March Fr. munities of Namsing, Anpum, Mer, Benggo and Pa- Thomas Kalapurackal succeeded him in Shantipur. glam could be contacted.
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 11
Today there are 1,320 students in St. Thomas School, Shantipur, belonging to various ethnic groups like Bodo, Mising, Adi, Nepali, Galong, Adivasi, Mishmi, Ahom, Deori, etc. There are approximately 1,500 Catholics in 14 communities. There are 14 local Catechists and one touring Catechist helping the Fathers and Sisters in the pastoral care of the Catholics. Besides the normal activities of the parish, pastoral work and evangelization, High School and Boarding for boys and chaplaincy, St. Thomas Sadiya renders a unique service to the neighbourhood by way of treating patients who come with poisonous snake and spider bites. The ‘black-stone’ treatment is extremely effective and people have immense trust in the treatment given by the Salesians. In certain seasons of the year four to five cases of snake-bites are brought daily to the mission. In 2016 alone there were around 1185 such cases. Currently five MSMHC Sisters are teaching in St. Thomas School, running the dispensary, catering to the girls’ boarding and assisting in the Parish pastoral work.
Other Confreres in Sadiya: Fr. Paulinus Chempalayil, Fr. Joseph Kindo, Fr. Nazarius Lakra, Fr. Kalarackal Thomas, Fr. Albert Tirkey, Fr. Eanthanamkuzhiyil Michael (EC), Fr. Anto Tharakan, Fr. Puthettupadavil Philip (PC), Fr. Cyriac Manipadam, Fr. Eanthanamkuzhiyil Michael (EC), Fr. Jose Kanniampady, Fr. Felix Irudayaraj, Fr. Abhay Baxla, Br. Kaliyaden Mathew, Fr. Tharakunnel Tious, Fr. Paulus Kerketta, and Fr. Neljen Anthony.
In-charges of Sadiya include: Fr. Chacko Kakkanatt (1986 – 2006), Fr. Mathai Kottarathil (2006 – 2013), Fr. Parappilly Jacob (2013 – 2016), Fr. Ganlari Theophilus (2016 - ). Fr. Kalappurayil George (KV) had substituted Fr. Parappilly Jacob during his medical treatment in the months ofFebruary – March 2016
Dimapur Links: April - June 201712
- DL Correspondent
MOTHER MARY AND RELIGIOUS LIFE
A young Salesian priest had gone for his licentiate studies to Pune some years ago. At his first visit to the Jesuit study house, he was surprised to find decorations and quotations about Our Lady prominently displayed in their chapel. Only then did he realize that there are other Congregations which love Our Lady tenderly and give expression to their devotion as we Salesians do. Of course in those days our exposure to other Congregations in general was minimal. In fact we Salesians as a whole were somewhat isolated and kept to ourselves. There was one prominent Church leader who asked a Salesian when he introduced himself as a Salesian: “Are you a Christian?”! Don Bosco Our devotion to Our Lady is surely very special. Don Bosco has taught us to have a childlike devotion to our Blessed Mother. His relationship to Our Lady was extraordinary. So was her role in the founding of our Congregation: In this connection he says: “The growth, multiplication and extension of the Salesian Society must be attributed to Mary most holy.” Another time he said: “We cannot go wrong. Mary herself is leading us.” But he was aware of the role of Mary in the foundation of the various religious institutes in the Church. In fact he said: “One may say that Mary most holy has been the foundress and mother of every Congregation, from the Cenacle to the present day.”
Ignatius of Loyola A cursory look at the lives of saints and founders in particular proves this. Let us look at the Jesuits as an example. After his decision to give up the worldly life and dedicate himself to Christ the king, Ignatius of Loyola spent sometime in the shrine of Our Lady at Monserrat in 1522. After an all-night vigil honouring the Blessed Virgin as her Knight, he had a vision of our Lady with the Child Jesus. It is after this that he lays down his sword before the altar of Our Lady. When the society received the approval, the first group of Jesuits made their vows in front of the statue of Mary at St Paul’s Church outside the walls in Rome. There was an image of Our Lady in his room in Rome and he would often go to her in prayer. The Jesuits make their perpetual vows at the end of the novitiate to the Divine Majesty “before the Most Sacred Virgin Mary and the whole court of heaven.” On April 22nd, the feast of the Blessed Virgin, under the title “Mother of the Society of Jesus” is celebrated according to the liturgical calendar of the Jesuits. This is in recognition of the special role of Mary in the Society of Jesus and is a proclamation of the special devotion of the Jesuits to our Blessed Mother. It was the Italian Jesuits of the Roman College in Rome who began the custom of dedicating the month of May to Mary 300 years ago.
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 13
Alphonsus de Liguori To take another example: Alphonsus Ligouri was a passionate devotee of Our Lady. When other theologians in his days opposed devotion to Mary he invoked her as “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.” For him she was a constant helper and guide in all matters concerning his Congregation – the Redemptorists. He never wrote a single letter without beginning or ending with: ‘Long live Jesus and Mary’. He encouraged the daily recitation of the Rosary. Apart from promoting devotion to Mary through his writings – The Glories of Mary being the most
vocation of priests and religious, bringing them closer to Jesus. “How can I be sure I am always following Jesus? His mother leads us to him. A priest, a man or woman religious, who does not love Our Lady, who does not recite the Rosary… if they do not want the Mother, the Mother will not give them the Son.” - Fr. M. P. Thomas sdb, Amguri - Assam
Louis de Montfort St Louis de Montfort is another great example. His numerous writings and in particular “True devotion to Mary” was a great source of inspiration for the spread of devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary. He is the onwho familiarized the phrase “Ad Jesum per Mariam”: To Jesus through Mary. Pope Francis These are just a few examples of the irreplaceable role, Our Lady had in the lives of saints apart from Don Bosco. May they inspire us to redouble our love for our Blessed Mother. The words of Pope Francis could strengthen us in this endeavour. During a visit to Naples, in March 2015, Pope Francis emphasized how big a role Mary plays in the
Dimapur Links: April - June 201714
God the Father decided to send his son into the world,
O Mary, how blessed you are by God the most high,
Taking the form of man in flesh and blood.
To be chosen to cooperate with God for mankind’s
But flesh and blood was not found in God
Who chose Mary, a Virgin, to give him flesh and blood
It was in your flesh that Jesus suffered,
God kept this flesh of Mary untarnished from start
Scourged, crowned with thorns and crucified.
That her son’s flesh too may be untarnished.
Thank you, Mother, for your willing surrender
She conceived by the Holy Spirit and bore a son,
To the will of God the Almighty Father.
Who was truly God and truly man as well
For through your humility and obedience
Him no eye could see became visible to man,
We received our God in flesh and blood
He the mighty God became one like us,
When we receive his body and blood in communion,
Living among us sharing our sorrows and joys,
And we thank Him for this precious gift,
Because you, Mary, gave him a body that made him visible
We shall not forget to be grateful to you, Mother,
Christ gave his body to eat and blood to drink
Who gave him his body and blood.
But this body and blood were Mary’s own body
So when we receive at Mass our communion
We say ‘Thank You’ also to Mary for giving Jesus
his body and blood.
Fr. Karthikapallil Thomas sdb, Rector, SCHE, Dimapur
DBC GOLAGHAT HONOURS ST. ALFONSO MARIA FUSCO
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 15
‘’My daughters, it is a great grace to have been called to the religious life. You ought to work, therefore, for His glory, and to advance on the path that leads to holiness’’ (St. Alfonso Maria Fusco ).
the Provincial, Rev. Sr. Mary who has taken lot of struggle, effort and interest in this mission. Fusco Girls’ hostellers presented offertory dance, making the offertory procession a solemn event.
We had a grand, beautiful, and meaningful celebration on 17 February 2017 with a thanksgiving Mass for the sainthood day celebration of our beloved Founder St. Alfonso Maria Fusco. We, the communities of Ashish Bhavan, Rangajan and Providence Niwas, Golaghat, had the joint celebration in Don Bosco College, Golaghat. Since we are first time in North East India, we went to neighbouring parishes and centres to invite the Priests and Religious.
After the Mass we had a cultural programme, organized by the college students and students from Don Bosco, Rangajan. Sr. Beena, Superior of Rangajan community, welcomed the gathering. Our beloved Mother General, Sr. Rosario from Italy, greeted, blessed and interacted with the audience through video conference (via Skype), during the cultural programme. She was extremely happy to answer the questions of the audience at Golaghat. It was a great blessing to see and listen to her during the festival of St. Alfonso Maria Fusco. All of us were happy to see, interact with and get her blessing. We are grateful to Fr. Jose Palely, Fr. Bimal Lakra and Fr. Mathew C. Paul, whose interest and support made the programme a successful one. Rev. Sr. Mary also addressed the gathering. The very presence of Sr. Mary, Sr. Anitha, Sr. Arputha, added to our joy. We are grateful to each of them and all the Sisters for their prayerful support and wishes. Sr. Ciciliyamma delivered the vote of thanks. All the invitees were given the Founder’s picture with the Novena prayer. The priests and the religious were given a gamucha and a memento each.
Most Rev. Bishop Joseph Aind, SDB DD of Dibrugarh Diocese presided over the Eucharistic Celebration. We began our celebration at 9.45 am from our convent with Rev. Sr. Mary Antony our Provincial, carrying the Relics of St. Alfonso, accompanied by all the Sisters. With lighted candles, we recited the Rosary and Novena to our Founder. As we reached the College, all the invitees and the students were waiting to welcome us. The College boys, through an entrance dance, led the procession to the prayer hall. Behind them went Sr. Mary holding the Relics, followed by the Sisters, the 22 concelebrants and the main celebrant. We had a solemn Eucharistic celebration led by Rev. Bishop Joseph Aind SDB. Many Sisters from the neighbouring communities were also present. The Holy Mass began with a brief introduction about our Founder by Sr. Brigit. The Bishop gave a meaningful and inspiring homily. He thanked, appreciated and acknowledged the Baptistines’ (Sisters’) presence in this locality. In a special way, he thanked
After the programme there was grand meal prepared for everyone. It was also very relaxing moment for the invitees and we had great opportunity to share our charism with them. We are grateful to Almighty God for making the charism of our Congregation known and for making this mega event a successful one.
Dimapur Links: April - June 201716
- Sr. Ciciliyamma CSJB
BOSCO B. ED COLLEGE FOUNDATION DAY
Bosco College of Teacher Education (BCTE) Dimapur, celebrated its 15th foundation cum cultural day on 17 March, with Joel N. Kath, Chairman of ‘Against Corruption And Unabated Taxes’ (ACAUT) as chief guest, and Fr. Nestor Guria sdb, Provincial, as guest of honour. Fr. Nestor Guria said teachers have the noble task of identifying the qualities and talents of students and ‘train them to fly high’. Joel N. Kath cautioned the teacher trainees of many divergent world views – secularism, liberal thoughts, scientific naturalism, post modernism, etc., which were taught in Western universities and can be harmful. “The teachers have the great responsibility to mould young minds and impart correct world views into them if we want to save the future of our society from moral decay and gradual destruction”, Mr. Kath said. Fr. Dr. Joseph Thuruthel, Principal of BCTE shared a brief history of BCTE and stressed on the need of knowing and preserving one’s culture while respecting those of others. The other events of the celebration included prayer dance, power-point presentation on the history of the College, colourful cultural dances, melodious solos and group singing and the final benediction. It may be noted that the B. Ed classes were initially conducted in the library of the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur. After the classes were shifted to the present site, the college made rapid progress to become one of the premier B. Ed colleges in Nagaland. Till date BCTE has been able to train 1300 teachers in the course of 15 years. Though the majority of the 147 students hail from Nagaland, the presence of a few students from Assam, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, etc., greatly enriches and lends a pan – India colour to the Bosco College of Teacher Education, Dimapur. - DL Correspondent
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 17
DON BOSCO – APOSTLE OF THE WORD A course on Social Communication was held on 4 and 5 April 2017 at Emmaus Novitiate, Zubza, near Kohima. It was animated by Fr. Jonas Kerketta sdb. The intensive course centered on the subject of Don Bosco and his active involvement in social communication. The animator reiterated, “Using old things and expecting new results will not avail much good in this fast changing world of Media….” He emphasized on the need to keep ourselves abreast with the fast changing world to be effective apostles of the young. Being aware that all our communication depends on how we perceive life, the world, reality, and especially oneself, we began with an exercise on intra-personal communication with the aim to enable the novices to realize the importance of self-esteem and love of life. On the second day, we discussed in depth the purpose and strategy of Don Bosco’s communication with an aim to expand our awareness of Don Bosco’s active involvement in social commination. Already at the age of 29 Don Bosco wrote his first book, The Biography of Luigi Comollo. At 31 he wrote two books which were nationally acclaimed, The Italian Enology and Arithmetic and the Metric Decimal System. In 1861 he acquired the first two printing presses at the Oratory. We have 1,174 writings from Don Boscov’s hand. In fact, Don Bosco’s published works fill 37 volumes. Don Bosco had drawn up a global strategy of communication: 1.He was aware that it would be useless to remain isolated on the margins of a changing society. “You have to plunge in and spread your ideas peacefully without hurting people’s feelings”. 2. “Hence you must bring good people together to do good works and show them how it is possible to do so, but you must also make it known and give to the good works the maximum publicity” (MB XIII, 126 -127). 3. To achieve his purpose, it was not enough to be just a writer; he became an editor, a publisher, an entrepreneur and scouted and trained writers and organized distribution networks. 4. From the outset Don Bosco involved both youngsters and adults in his work, making the best use of initiatives and energy, of selecting and preparing individuals and of involving them in responsibility for
specific objectives. The anti-Catholics of the day used print media to spread false rumors against the Church. But Don Bosco out-smarted them by making better use of the same media to defend the Church and to spread wholesome values especially among the young. It was amazing to know that Don Bosco, busy as he was – looking for food and shelter for his boys, teaching trades and finding them jobs, hearing confessions and administering other Sacraments, etc., found enough time to be so much engrossed in the media ministry. With visual aids, interactions and exercises we also studied the purpose, strategy and urgency of social communication. To conclude, we had the chart display in three groups on the related theme – ‘Don Bosco, apostle of the word’. At the end of the course everyone benefited from this educational experience. We sincerely hope and pray that this awareness of the need to plunge into the world of media may bring forth abundant fruits in the years ahead. We also thank the animator and all the novitiate staff for this opportunity.
Dimapur Links: April - June 201718
- Clerics Reuben Dominic and Vijay Kerketta
DBTECH - AIDA HOLDS GRADUATION DAY
Don Bosco Tech AIDA graduation day for skill training of unemployed youth, Batch 20, was held on 7 April 2017 in the AIDA complex (Don Bosco campus), Dimapur. Press and media in charge of ACAUT, Mar Longkumer, graced the occasion as chief guest. Congratulating the trainees for successfully completing the training, he spoke on four basic values in life to be inculcated such as honesty, hard work, humility and punctuality. Longkumer further cautioned the trainees that it was not easy to venture out into a new environment or new field, but by holding on to the four values they would do well in life.
Rector of Don Bosco, Dimapur, Fr. C. T. Varghese spoke on personal development and encouraged the youth who would be venturing into new life journey and challenges. Earlier in the day Br. Sunny Joseph (AIDA and DB Tech Director) introduced the programme and the welcome speech was delivered by Ruvelelu. Amos and friends presented a welcome song and Jeevan proposed the vote of thanks. It may be mentioned that the 20th batch began on 23 January 2017 with 96 trainees and ended with 93 trainees. All the trainees have received placement offer. - DB Tech Correspondent
YOUTH PASCH MARKS HOLY WEEK IN DIMAPUR
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 19
‘Youth Pasch’, a four day programme for the youth was conducted during the Holy Week at Don Bosco Institute for Development and Leadership (DBIDL), in Don Bosco School campus, Dimapur, with the theme ‘He is Risen’ from 13 to 16 April, 2017. It was attended by 230 youths from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. On Holy Thursday, while commemorating the Lord’s Supper, during the Holy Eucharist, Fr. C. M. Joseph stressed that the service rendered by Christ was inspired and propelled by his love for mankind. Good Friday was celebrated with much devotion and reverence. The traditional practice of the Way of the Cross was acted out to re-live the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. The solemn Passion Reading and the veneration of the Cross too were reverently observed.
sdb, Vice Provincial of the Province of Dimapur, was the main celebrant. On Easter Sunday, during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Fr. K. C. Vincent sdb described Easter as a feast of love. Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima, graced the occasion with his presence. He said that celebration of Easter should help one to re-live the unique experience of being touched by the Risen Christ. He added that one can have fullness of life only in the Risen Christ. The four-day long programme was crowned witCultural Night on Easter Sunday evening.
The Easter Vigil, a popular Christian tradition, too was solemnly celebrated. Fr. Bosco Perianayagam
- Youth Pasch Correspondent
EASTER BLESSING IN CHRIST KING PARISH KOHIMA
Dimapur Links: April - June 201720
The annual Easter House Blessing at the Parish was held on 23 and 30 Aprilâ€™17. Priests from Dimapur (Fr. Sunny Minj sdb from Provincial House, Fr. Joshua Gangmei sdb and Fr. Hriiyio Michael from Don Bosco School and Fr. Jonas Jerketta sdb from Bosco B. Ed College), SechĂź Zubza (Fr. Daniel Panmei sdb) and DBS kohima (Fr. Suresh Innocent sdb and Fr. K. C. Vincent sdb) joined the priests from the Parish (Fr. Salew Peter sdb, Fr. Paul Panii sdb and Fr. Linus Lonuo sdb) for the blessing. On 23 April there were 8 priests while on 30 April there were 9 priests. It was wonderful to see over 60 youths accompanying the priests and praying/singing devoutly in every house they visited. In some of the villages Easter Blessing was done on Easter Sunday itself. The parishioners were all very happy to receive the Easter House Blessing and expressed their gratitude to the priests for bringing the blessings of the risen Lord to their homes and families. - Ms Ruth Vizo, Christ King Parish, Kohima
SIVA SAGAR DARSHAN
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 21
The pre-Novices of Amguri, Assam had a wonderful day out on 4 May 2017. Around 8.45 am they left for Sivasagar, the capital of the erstwhile Ahom Kingdom.
a roof which is shaped like an inverted boat. It was constructed as a pavilion for watching sports and other games. The building is only one of its kinds and can be compared with the Roman Coliseum.
The first stop was at Maidam, the royal burial ground in Charaideo. Next visit was to Joydoul and Joysagar, famous excavated tanks whose water level is above the town of Sivasagar. The mighty Ahoms had ruled Assam for six hundred years till the advent of the British. Standing atop the Talatal Ghar, the young visitors were wonderstruck at the mighty works of the Ahom kings. The five canons of the ancient Ahoms welcomed the visitors. The Talatal Ghar is a seven storeyed edifice of which three are below the ground. It has two secret tunnels.
The walls of all the temples were decorated with panels depicting scenes of animal fights like buffaloes and elephants and even bird-fights. There are also figures of gods and goddesses, royal hunting parties, etc.
Next the pre-Novices reached the Rang Ghar. It is a double-storeyed oval shaped amphitheater with
- Cleric Samuel Augustine, Amguri
These and other historical ruins of Sivasagar provide a glimpse of the grandeur that the mighty Ahom Kingdom once was. The pre-Novices returned to Amguri filled with gratitude to God and to their superiors for this historic enrichment.
SEMINAR ON CAREER PLANNING & SKILL DEVELOPMENT An interactive seminar on Career Planning & Skill Development was organized by Don Bosco Alumni Association, Wokha unit (DBAAWU), in collaboration with the Pinnacle Skills on 9 July 2017 in the Don Bosco Youth Centre hall. The resource persons of the seminar were Pinnacles Skills chief executive Dr. Yan Murry and Operations coordinator James Kithan. In the opening session Fr. T. T. Joseph sdb, DBHSS Principal applauded the school alumni association for their sincerity and consistent support to the school.
Dr. Yan Murry made presentation on career planning and skill development for the students of classes 11 and 12. He urged the students to choose their career courageously despite possible stumbling blocks. He said one’s own zeal leads to achieve goals. He encouraged students to choose even the traditional careers as the government jobs are getting saturated. On skill development Dr. Yan said that skills development and training ensure prospects of job placements. “Dream big, start small, learn and work hard”, he added. In the session for classes 9 and 10, James Kithan spoke on the topic “Taking early steps to choose the right career”. He underlined that the time of classes 9 and 10 is a crucial stage to identify and choose one’s career which one feels best suits him/her. He urged them to get trained in the career of their choice and not of their parents’ or teachers’ choice. He said success is something progressive, every day being a new challenge. The students also raised various queries related to careers and future prospects. Around 600 students from secondary and higher secondary schools of Wokha district participated in the programme. In the concluding session Thungchamo Ezung, secretary of DBAAWU shared some of the activities of the Wokha unit of DB Alumni Assiciation. He also encouraged the students to cultivate love towards their own alma mater.
Dimapur Links: April - June 201722
-DBAA, Wokha unit
SPIRITUAL RETREAT FOR THE PRACTICAL TRAINEES
The Practical Trainees commenced their spiritual retreat in the evening of 17 May at Don Bosco Institute for Development and Leadership (DBIDL), Dimapur. It was animated by Fr. V. Abhilash sdb of Guwahati Province (ING). It was full five days’ retreat in which the Brothers journeyed with the Lord. In the first day itself the animator led the Brothers to the mood of prayer and reflection.
Apart from the preacher’s talks the Brothers also received guidance and spiritual nourishment from Fr. Provincial, Vice Provincial, Fr. C.T. Varghese (DBIDL Director), Fr. Benny Kurian (Province Secretary), Fr. Nebu Mathew (Economer), who came and spent time with Brothers.
On 22nd evening the Brothers concluded the retreat with gratitude towards God, Fr. Provincial, It was an enriching and prayerful experience Vice Provincial, Fr. Varghese and all others Fathers where the Brothers could introspect into their past life who made the retreat fruitful and a joyful journey and renew themselves to live more committedly. Fr. with the Lord. Abhilash had relevant themes for reflection such as: Discovering God and oneself, Discipleship, Patience, - Cleric Habil Karwa Prayer, Silence, Contemplation, Reconciliation, etc. They were well prepared talks which made the Brothers to reflect seriously.
‘YOUTH ALIVE’ PROGRAMME AT DBC KOHIMA
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 23
The 5th semester students of Don Bosco College, Kohima had a three-day “Youth Alive” animation programme from May 29 to 31. The resource persons were Francis Hañsda and Telesphore Topno of Don Bosco Care (BYC), Don Bosco College, Itanagar. The programme was initiated to educate, engage and empower the young minds to become the stakeholders of their own growth and development. The programmes offered included: Citizen Café, 5th Space, Gender Equality, Design Thinking, and Constitution connect. Duchifi of History Department termed the workshop “wonderful and awesome event.” All the three days, Duchifi said, were filled with useful information for the growth and development of the knowledge and skills of the students. “The 5th Space” was an innovative and creative topic. It allowed the students to discover their own talents and capacities without interference from outside force. It is a space where a person knows and understands his/her talents and
gifts. The topic “Design Thinking” provides for the creation of distinct things and useful items which will be relevant for the society and country at large. Chubamenla Ao of English Department opined “We were very fortunate to be part of the three days programme. We learnt a lot”. She also thanked the resource persons for sharing their knowledge and experiences, helping them to become more aware of their inner talents and ideas that can change the society and the country. Sitilo Magh, also of English Department affirmed “The three days were very fruitful and have opened our minds to accept positive perspectives. An important topic we discussed was the Gender equality which should be practiced and equal opportunities should be provided to all.” - Courtesy: The Morung Express, 3 June 2017
SCHE FRESHERS’ DAY CUM ACADEMIC INAUGURATION
Salesian College of Higher Education (SCHE), Dimapur, held Freshers’ Day cum Academic Inaugural function on 9 June 2017 at Fr. Bernick’s Hall with Dr. Sanjay Chhabra, Principal of Unity College, Dimapur as chief guest. Fr. Dr. Policarp Xalxo, SCHE principal, welcomed everyone to the programme and wished the First Semester students and the new lecturers an enriching and fruitful years. He also presented the 20162017 academic report. Dr. Sanjay happily revealed, “To be honest, what I am today is because of Don Bosco Institution as I am an alumnus of St. Anthony’s College, Shil-
long.” He encouraged the freshers and even the new lecturers to keep on learning, as learning is a lifelong process. SCHE Rector, Fr. Tom Karthik exhorted the students to grab all opportunities and profit from college life at SCHE, Dimapur. The day’s programme had many other events like prize distribution, choir pieces, Gospel song, comedy, fashion parade, ending up with friendly football match between the freshers and the college team.
Dimapur Links: April - June 201724
- SCHE Media Club
FR. DR. C. P. ANTO WINS NATIONAL AWARD
Fr. Dr. C. P Anto of Kohima Diocese and PDG Rtn. Chandu Kumar Agarwal were recipients of this yearâ€™s Rotary National Peace Award. They were given the award by Rtn. Paul Netzel (Trustee Chair Elect, The Rotary Foundation) during the International Understanding and Peace Symposium held earlier this year in Pune.
promoting peace education in the educational institutions, encouraging cultural integration through peace festivals and inter-religious meet. The movement now has a network of over 250 peace clubs in educational institutions and districts of Nagaland and has also made foray into the neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur, reaching out to over 100,000 youth. Fr. Dr. C. P. Anto has trained over 1,200 Fr./Dr. C. P. Anto was honoured in recogni- teachers and 1,450 religious and community leaders tion of his long and dedicated service as Founder and on dialogue, peace education, techniques of conflict Director of Peace Channel as well as Founder-Princi- resolution skills, human rights, etc. The initiatives of pal of North East Institute of Social Sciences and Re- the movement focus on collective learning, sharing search (NEISSR) a post graduate social work Institute and action for social change among youth belonging promoting peace and conflict resolution studies in to different tribes, region, religions and communities Nagaland and North East India.The Peace Channel is to live in peace and harmony by transforming the culan initiative of the diocese of Kohima in mobilizing ture of violence into a culture of peace. the youth for building peace and engaging them as indispensable contributors who would ensure a future - Courtesy: The Morung Express, 28 April 2017 free from violent conflicts. The movement utilizes a multi-pronged strategy forming youth peace clubs,
NESCOM ANNUAL GENERAL BODY MEET The NESCOM Annual General Body Meet was held on 11 March, 2017, at INSPIRATION, (opposite Social Forum), Guwahati, and was presided over by Most Rev. Bishop George Palliparampil, sdb, the Regional Chairman. Over twenty members from different dioceses and Congregations of the North East actively participated in the 4-hour long programme. Mr. Sunil Biswas, the national President of SIGNIS, too attended the meeting, and clarified many issues that needed explanation. He informed that 2017 is the election year for SIGNIS, and SIGNIS North East, too, is expected to elect its regional office bearers, at the earliest convenient time during the year.
Accordingly, in consultation with the regional Chairman, and with the consent of those present, it was decided to call a special General Body Meet on July 8, (second Saturday) during which the elections for the regional office bearers of SIGNIS North East could be held. Moreover, the Director of NESCOM informed the meeting that the idea of setting up an office for NESCOM in the INSPIRATION building has been approved by the Regional Bishops Conference, and the office could be formally blessed on the same day. - Fr. Alfonso Elengikal, Director, NESCOM
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 25
KUDOS TO FR. C.D. MATHAI FOR HIS ‘JOURNEY’ Dimapur Links congratulates Fr. Kottarathil Mathai (CD) sdb for his latest book The Journey. Through its 64 pages, written in poetic format, Fr. Mathai, In-charge and Parish Priest in Don Bosco Parish, Itanagar seeks to link and interpret the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth from the cultural context of the tribal society of Arunachal Pradesh. In his foreword to the book, Fr. Nicholas R. K. Guangdiat sdb, Principal and Rector of Don Bosco College, Itanagar says that The Journey in two parts – The Loaves and Fish and The Search, will be enjoyed by every tribal reader and by those familiar with the tribal way of life because it speaks in their own context. The enchanting cover designed by Miss Nonon Gangsa and the interesting illustrations sketched by Miss Preethy Jacob, provide added flavour to the book. May The Journey accompany the readers in their life’s arduous sojourn in an ‘infotaining’ way. - DL Correspondant.
IN A LIGHTER MOOD A census officer asked an old spinster, Ms Macy, her age. She balked. “But madam”, the census officer assured her, “everyone tells me their age.” “Every one? She asked doubtfully, “even Daisy Hill down the street and her sister Hilda next door?” “Yes, they did.” “In that case,” said Ms Macy, “put down my age same as theirs.” “As old as the Hills” the census taker wrote obligingly ---------------------------------------------------------- Little Ashley and his friend Tomy entered the movie-house toilet to relieve themselves. Ashley urinated, and then washed his hands. Much to his surprise, “Hey” said Ashley. “Smart boys wash their hands after they pee.” Holding his head back proudly, young Tomy corrected, “Smart boys learn not to pee on their hands.” ---------------------------------------------------------- “Why is it that only nations that form the Iron Curtain produce marathon champions, while many free nations are left far behind?” a sports researcher asked a Russian athlete. “It’s simple, my friend. They use the border for the finish line,” replied the athlete.
CONGRATS TO REV. FR. JOY SEBASTIAN SDB The Rector Major, Angel Fernandez Artime, with the consent of his Council, has appointed Fr. Joy Sebastian Thekumcherikunnel sdb, the Provincial of South Africa (AFM). Fr. Joy Sebastian was born on 14 August 1958 in Chemmalamattom, Kerala. He made his novitiate in Yercaud from 1976 to 1977 and Final Profession on 12 February 1983 in Shillong. He was ordained priest on 1 January 1986 in his home town. He worked in the Province of Dimapur under various capacities. Once in South Africa, he was Bursar (2002 – 2011) and Vicar (2005 – 2011) in Maputsoe, Lesotho; then Bursar at Walkerville, South Africa (2011 – 2012); and again in Maputsoe as Director (2012 – 2015) and Parish Priest (2013 – 2015). For the Vice Province he was also the Delegate for Formation (2006 – 2011) and currently holds the position of Counselor and Delegate for the Missions. Moreover, he is the Director and Pastor at Ennerdale, South Africa. Dimapur Links, together with all the Confreres and Salesian Family members of the Province of Dimapur, extend heartiest congratulations and offer prayerful support to Rev. Fr. Joy Sebastian Thekumcherikunnel, the new Provincial of AFM. - DL Correspondant
CONGRATS to DBIDL
Don Bosco Institute for Development and Leadership (DBIDL) Dimapur, has achieved another milestone. The SCERT and DBIDL will work in partnership to achieve excellence. The courses approved by the SCERT in DBIDL: 1. Media Education
2. Soft Skills
3. Tally Programme
4. DTP – CCC (Course on Computer Concept)
5. Primary School Teachers’ Training
6. School Counselling (for teachers)
7. Nagaland Teacher Eligibility Test
Dimapur Links: April - June 201726
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 27
Dimapur Links: April - June 201728
Dimapur Links: April-June 2017 29
Dimapur Links: April - June 201730