Nagaland: Kohima Diocese to celebrate 50 years of existence

Kohima: Thousands of faithful from the Catholic Church in Nagaland will be part of the golden jubilee of the Diocese of Kohima at Mary Help of Christians Cathedral Church, Kohima from Friday evening till Sunday.

While over a thousand delegates from across the state will be camping at Little Flower Higher Secondary School and St Mary’s Higher Secondary School in Kohima from Friday onwards, the main celebrations will begin on Saturday with the unveiling of the jubilee plague. On Sunday, about 10,000 faithful are expected to celebrate the holy mass at the Cathedral.

Delegates from Germany, Italy, Australia and the United States will also be part of the celebration, informed the Bishop of Kohima & chief host of the celebration, Most Rev Dr James Thoppil during a press conference on Thursday. Faithful from across the country will be part of the celebrations.

Thoppil said that the jubilee would be a celebration of the universality of the Catholic church. The celebration, he said, would also be a time of renewal and rededication for the people to pursue peace and live in unity.

The Kohima Diocese was bifurcated from the Diocese of Dibrugarh in 1973 for the states of Nagaland and Manipur called Kohima-Imphal diocese. Later in 1980, the two dioceses were bifurcated.

He said that the purpose of the celebration was not so much of the socio-cultural or external celebration but an internal celebration. The Jews, he said, considered jubilee as a time for retrospection, examination of their old lives and rededication.

The bishop hoped that the people would be able to rededicate themselves as a Catholics, as members of the church, and render their service with a greater commitment, to fulfill the true meaning of the jubilee.

Thoppil also shared about his plans to make the cathedral a pilgrimage centre, a place of prayer and also make it the Basilica of the Northeast region. The diocese of Kohima has 57 parishes under it out of which 37 are full-fledged parishes and the rest are quasi parishes.

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President of the Catholic Association of Nagaland, Johnny Ruangmei informed that the golden jubilee preparations began last year. Activities in the runup to the jubilee began in from Kohima and spread to all other districts in the form of prayers, devotions, seminars and conclaves.

The Governor of Nagaland, La Ganesan and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio would be special guest and guest of honour during the cultural night on the second day of the celebration.

Some highlights of the celebrations will include the Marian procession and eucharistic procession.

Also Read | From medical to ‘divine’ interventions: How Catholics made their way in Nagaland

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