Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Visit to Arunachal Pradesh

The journey from Aizwal to Guwhati was not that pleasant as there was heavy rain and fog all over Mizoram. The flight experienced strong turbulence and the travelers literally had their hearts in their mouth. Again Br. Bastian was there to receive me at the airport which is about 40 km away from the city.  On 14th May morning Br. Francis, the superior of Arunachal drove me to Tejpur which is in Assam and the journey from Guwhati to Tejpur is about 5 hours. We took rest in the house of sacred heart brothers and next day early morning we started our journey to Itanagar, the headquarters of Arunachal. The diocese of Itanagar is a new diocese which was created 7 years ago. This journey was one of the memorable one as the roads in Arunachal are not at all good. The state does not have good roads because of constant rains and mountainous areas. It took us about 12 hours to reach to Bishops house. 
On 15th morning I met the Bishop and spent some time listening to him. He narrated the hardships, suffering and persecutions that the Church in Arunachal has gone through. He recounted how the missionaries trained the local Arunachalis in Assam and sent them back to their places to teach faith and Baptize their own brothers and sisters. It was only 18 years ago that the missionaries could enter into the state. The person to enter was Blessed Mother Teresa. Today the Diocese is very active in evangelization through the ministries of education, social and medical. The people are very poor and they need a lot of help
The Friars from St. Francis Province, Kerala have been working since six years in

the diocese of Itanagar. Today they have one parish which takes 20 hours from Itanagar to reach Seppa and Veo. The roads as i mentioned earlier are very bad.
Br. Francis drove me to his parish. At the end of the journey we were tired and need good rest which we did take.
The people here are very poor. They are all tribals. They have no school and medical facilities. The friars are involved in pastoral and educational ministries. They have to walk for about two hours to reach to their mission stations. They have four substations and the entire village is Catholic. There are others who are asking  to be admitted into the Catholic Church. The friars need a lot of support in terms of prayers and Finance.

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