Nagaland Catholic Convention

Zhavame: A three-day convention was held by the Nagaland Catholic Youth Movement (NCYM) at Zhavame village under the Phek district. The convention concluded on Sunday with a solemn mass celebrated by Most Rev Dr James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima.

The Bishop, in his homily, said the theme “Loving my faith and living my faith” is very pertinent. In this regard, he said, “Unless one loves one’s faith, one would not live the faith”. He hoped that the catholic youths return home, more “energised and enthused by the celebration of faith.”

“It should not turn out to be a mere social gathering, but a school of Christian discipleship by a community celebration of our faith”, he said.

During the convention, limited participants from 55 parishes and 10 tribal units attended the convention. They ensured the maintenance of standard operating procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He encouraged catholic youths not “to give up the faith just for momentary comfort and consolation.” The Bishop also urged the congregation to realise the strength of being “Jesus’ beloved sheep” and to help spread the mission in the world.

Later in a felicitation programme, the Bishop told the young people that there are many possibilities to venture. “We only need hard work and determination. And if all of you make this theme a part of your life, then I am sure there is hope for Nagaland and can make changes by infusing Christian values into the society”, he added.

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He also assured to continue building the educational system in the state through catholic institutions. Leaders from the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN), Nagaland Catholic Women Association (ACWA), Angami Catholic Youth Association (ACYA) and several church associations were also part of the convention.

The 9th Nagaland Catholic Youth Movement (NCYM) convention on Friday at St. Xavier’s Church, Zhavame. In the introductory session, Rev Fr Dr George Rino, Director, Men’s Hostel SJC (Autonomous), Jakhama dwelt on different aspects of counselling while pointing out that people think only those who have a mental problem or are not strong enough go for counselling.

In this regard, he had pointed out that counselling is very loosely used by the Naga people, although many people require counselling in different areas. He said that counselling is a talking therapy between a counsellor and his client to bring effective change.

On Saturday, the convention was formally inaugurated by Dr P J Anthony, Commissioner and Secretary, Nagaland Legislative Assembly. In his speech, he told the catholic youths from all over Nagaland that they are the future of their families, diocese, communities and the country.

He pointed out that one of the challenges faced by the youth is equipping themselves with optimum potential. However, he encouraged them, saying, “When you are prepared spiritually, mentally, and physically, there is nothing to fear.”

One of the major highlights of the convention was the pilgrimage to Mt Kapamodzü. Zhavame village is nestled below Mt Kapamodzü. which stands at 2,620 m and is the fourth-highest peak in Nagaland.

During the pilgrimage, the Bishop narrated the 2014 fire incident when the church was destroyed but the crucifix of the church remained. “It is a sign that God’s presence is very much in this village,” he said.

The St Xavier’s church Zhavame preserves the crucifix, also termed as “The Mystical Crucifix” in a glass box inside the church to this day.

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