Vatican envoy to Nagaland urges Catholics to live Christian lives



Kohima: Vatican envoy Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, who is on a 4-day visit to Nagaland on Sunday, urged the faithful of the church to joyfully live the Christian vocation and bear witness to the faith Christian.

During a congratulatory program held at the Episcopal Hall of Kohima, the Vatican envoy paid tribute to the Catholic community in Nagaland and commended the Diocese of Kohima for providing partial and full scholarships to children poor.

“The gospel journey is a challenge and with every step we take we need God’s grace. As lay faithful, you are called to live your Christian vocation joyfully, witnessing to your faith on a daily basis,” he told the faithful.

He also advised Catholic leaders to be the main instruments of the renewal of the earth through their leadership and faithfulness in the community.

Johnny Ruangmei, President of the Catholic Association of Nagaland, in a brief address informed that the Catholic community is the second largest Christian denomination in Nagaland. He assured that the faithful of the Church try to live according to Catholic values ​​and teachings.

Bishop James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima, informed that in the space of 70 years without any Catholics in the state, the number has grown to around 62,000 among all Naga tribes. He informed that there are currently 49 diocesan priests and 11 religious priests as well as 200 nuns from different tribes in Nagaland.

“It is the laity who have taken on the responsibility of spreading the faith and they continue to do so with great zeal and enthusiasm,” he said. Despite the low numbers, he said the influence of the church through educational institutions, medical institutions and social involvement is very high.

He mentioned that the church faces some challenges including lack of communication and transportation, maintaining tribal and gospel values ​​in the face of the onslaught of materialistic and hedonistic pursuit in life, priority given to proclamation and catechesis, etc.

The Vatican envoy also congratulated Venuzo Timothy Dawhuo, defending champion and two-time Naga wrestling champion on Sunday.

Prior to the congratulatory program, the Vatican Ambassador paid a visit to the Kohima War Cemetery, the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama and St. Joseph’s College (autonomous) in Jakhama.

Earlier in the day, while interacting with students from St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) in Jakhama, the Archbishop commended the college for its contribution in forming young students into people of character, compassion, responsibility, accountability and shaping them to become worthy citizens. .

Expressing his joy at visiting the first college established by the Diocese of Kohima, he said, “In education lies the promise of a more humane future and a more harmonious society.” At present, he said, all Catholic schools and colleges have the difficult task of carrying out the educational apostolate of the Church, not only striving for excellence in pedagogy and the pursuit of knowledge, but to imbue students with the spirit of Christ.

Your aim to provide quality education, especially to marginalized sections of society, is truly noble, he said.

The emissary encouraged the professors and faculty of the college to associate themselves closely with the holistic development offered to the students by offering them a balance of the cognitive, emotional, social, professional, ethical and spiritual aspects and not to be discouraged in the face of the difficulties presented by the educational challenge.

“Educating is not a profession but an attitude, a way of being; to educate, you have to come out of yourself and be among young people, accompany them in the stages of their growth and stand by their side,” he said.

To students, he said the purpose of education is to make them “fully human and fully alive” and to transform their lives. “It is my fervent hope that you will always uphold the Christian values ​​of love, self-sacrifice, concern for others, forgiveness and peace,” he said as he blessed them.

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