Ziro: Itanagar diocese in Arunachal Pradesh ordained its first Catholic Priest of indigenous origin at Mary Immaculate Church, Hapoli, Ziro, on Saturday.

Father Roshan Bamin Peter, belonging to the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, was ordained priest by his Bishop John Thomas at his home parish at Hapoli in Lower Subansiri district in the presence of emeritus Bishop of Daltanganj, Gabriel Kujur, a large gathering of priests, religious workers, friends and relatives from across the diocese.

“It is a proud moment for all of us in the diocese, especially for the people of Apatani tribe,” said Nani Yase Teresa, president of the Apatani Catholic Women’s Association of Itanagar diocese.

“It will inspire many young people from all tribes to become priests and nuns.”

Father Peter, the fourth of the six children of (Late) James Bamin Tabin and Monica Bamin Yabii, joined the Itanagar diocese’s St. Patrick Minor Seminary in Naharlagun after completing his schooling. He later studied philosophy at the Salesian College in Dimapur and theology at the St. Joseph’s Seminary in Mangalore.

Many expressed joy over the ordination of the first Apatani tribal priest.

It is good to have a priestly ordination on the eve of the Vocation Sunday, said Taw Tebin, President of the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association.

“It augurs well for the young church in Arunachal Pradesh and particularly for Itanagar diocese,” he said.

The Apatani are a special tribal group living in the Ziro Valley in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. Unlike the other tribes, they are non-nomadic and practice permanent wetland cultivation in hilly terrains by slicing the hills.

According to the 2011 census, Arunachal has 43,777 Apatanis.

“It is a historic moment for the Catholic Church in Arunachal Pradesh. We pray for Father Roshan to help him spread the message of love, peace and kindness of the Lord in every corner of the world,” said Yamlam Kaha, a church leader from Itanagar.

Father Peter now becomes the second tribal priest from Arunachal Pradesh. Father Francis Belo from the Galo tribe was ordained for the congregation of Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales in 2008.

Bishop George Pallipparambil also ordained Father Pramod Godselwar from Chandrapur, Maharastra for Miao Diocese in east Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday.

Also read: Arunachal: NSCN (K-YA) militants kidnap gaon bura of village in Longding

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