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By INS Correspondent
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Shillong, Nov. 10. Shillong 10th November: The Annual Eucharistic Procession at Laitumkhrah, Shillong Archdiocese took place one month after the demise of (L) Archbishop Dominic Jala sdb, dd - the late Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese. His Eminence Cardinal Charles Maung Bo sdb, dd - the Archbishop of Yangon Myanmar, who was requested earlier by the late Archbishop Dominic Jala presided over the Holy Eucharist in Khasi (local) language. He was accompanied by Archbishop Emeritus MC Thomas sdb, dd of Guwahati Archdiocese, Bishop John of Itanagar Diocese, Bishop Victor Lyngdoh of Jowai Diocese, Father Anselm Nonglang, the Diocesan administrator of Nongstoin Diocese, Father John Madur the Diocesan Administrator of Shillong Archdiocese together with hundreds of priests, religious and thousands of the faithful including the Shri Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya who braved the inclement weather. The Most solemn function begun with words of welcomed by Father John Madur.
His Eminence Cardinal Charles Bo sdb, dd was born on was born on 29 October 1948. His father died when he was 2. After the death of his father, he was sent to a Salesian boarding school in Mandalay. From 1962 to 1976, he studied at the Nazareth Aspirantate, a Salesian seminary, in Anisakan village.  He was ordained a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco on 9 April 1976. He was appointed as prefect of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lashio in 1986. Four years later, he was consecrated Bishop of Lashio. In 1996, he was transferred to the Diocese of Pathein. On 17 March 2001, Pope John Paul II named him a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. On 24 May 2003, Pope John Paul named him Archbishop of Yangon. On 17 January 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named him a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture. On 4 January 2015, Pope Francis announced that he would make him a cardinal and on 14 February of the same year made him one. In April 2015 Pope Francis named him a member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Pontifical Council for Culture, and in July 2016 a member of the Secretariat for Communications. In July 2018, Francis named him a delegate to the Synod of Bishops on youth, faith, and vocational discernment. He is also the president of FABC (Federation of Asian Bishop's Conference), a body that includes 19 Bishop's conference and 8 associate members.

In his homily, the Cardinal grieved the loss of his brother Salesian  late Archbishop Dominic Jala. He said, ''God wants us to accept whatever happens in the changes of life. I am happy to celebrate this Mass together with the spirit of late Archbishop Dominic Jala.'' His eminence invited the faithful to show thier love to Jesus through these celebrations, which late Archbishop Dominic Jala lived his life for.

Speaking about the late Archbishop, the Cardinal continued; ''In matter of a short time our world has changed, but we have to accept the plan of God. A Salesian as I am, he has a passionate love for liturgy and for the people of God. It would have been my immense joy to see his smile on a day like today, but I am deeply saddened by his absence, the chair in the Cathedral is empty (nga sngewsih shibun ia ka jingbymdon lang jong u, ka shuki jong u ka thylli ha Cathedral)'' he emphasized. ''It is a great loss to India and to the whole world. He is gone to celebrate liturgy in heaven. I strongly believe his spirit hovers here today. You are fortunate to have a strong intercessor from heaven.'' Said the Cardinal.

Continuing with his homily, the Cardinal praised the Khasi tribe, 'I am told that the Khasis are first tribe in the North East to share the Catholic faith.. you are like the Israelites who shared the first faith in God.'' He admired the faithful of Shillong Archdiocese for their faith; 'A day like today is a witness to show and live your faith intensely, and because of you people from other tribes are following your examples, phi long ki Apostol ki bakhraw (you are great apostles), You are preaching through your actions and not in mere words.''

Celebrating the Eucharist for the first time in Shillong, the Cardinal said that he has been inspired by many stories narrated by late Archbishop Jala and Archbishop Emiritus MC Thomas. ''I have heard about Khasis specially about their love of God and the Gospel of Christ.'' ''Yours is an vibrant Church'' he said while looking forward to the Eucharistic Procession that will take place in the afternoon of the day. ''Jala's love for the Liturgy and the Eucharist should continue through you. The Eucharist is the source and the summit of the Christian life. As Jala experienced this mystery, we gather here to continue his spirit.'' He said.

''God lives among us in the form of the Eucharist. In the Mass and in Adoration, we celebrate the presence of God and the assurance that 'ngan iai don ryngakt bad phi borabor' (I am with you always) becomes a reality. A celebration of the sacredness of the Bread and Wine. We come to celebrate also our sacredness, because we are created in God's image. God dwells in us. Eucharist is a fellowship, it's a tool to come together whether rich or poor.'' Said the Cardinal.

''Through the Eucharist. Jesus initiated a new society - a fellowship. God comes to search the loss sheep. It is a symbol of unity, because whether you are wealthy or poor, ki ba khraw ne ba rit, ki ba koit ne ba pang..baroh ngi wan sha ka Iukharis.. with out any preferences, all have to kneel in front of the God in Eucharist. We are call to hope in the Eucharist.'' Continued the Cardinal.

''Our Catholic Church is a 'hope generating' entity and not money making institution. It is that dream of the new heaven and new earth spoken in the Book of Revelation, where there will be no more death. I pray that today all of you will live your life with no tears and no suffering'' assured the Cardinal.

Speaking about his country he said; ''I come from Myanmar we share your border and your culture. We have 16 dioceses, and 14 of them belongs to the indigenous people like you who lives in unity. Many are wondering why do Christian gather together to pray in the Church? The answer is, we are a community in prayer who believe that when two or three are gathered together there Christ is present. We gather together like St. Paul who talked about the Mystical Body. We Catholics are a billion people, we belong to Christ, we are one through the Eucharist'' he said.

''The Eucharist is a call to justice - to liberation. It is a call to action. A command to 'do it in memory of me' by Christ. Christ lives on earth for 33 years, out these 3 years he spend in his mission and only once he broke bread during the last supper, all the three years he broke bread of suffering, of healing, of raising death, curing the sick and so on... His mission lets him to Calvary... His Body and Blood is offered to the world..'', reminded the Cardinal.

''Eucharist is the celebration in memory of Jesus, yes the Eucharist calls us not only to adore but to do something for those who suffer...The Eucharist calls us to be disciples and not just devotees. Pope Francis said, the injustice needs to be broken in this world... poverty is a man made disaster...therefore, Christianity calls for a new world,'' he stressed.

Recalling about the International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu in 2016, the Cardinal said, ''When I was asked by the Pope to be the President for Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, in my homily I said that the third world war will happen because of the Eucharist. Because through the Eucharist, injustice, poverty, discrimination etc.. will be broken.''

''We are called to share our faith, our joy of the Gospel.. I am so glad that many tribes are following your examples, from this mother church of Shillong we have 15 dioceses now. May God bless us with more vocations. I am told that many sons and daughters of this Archdiocese have gone as missionaries to other countries.. We remember our pioneers who toiled this land. We recall all the priests, sisters, and other church leaders who labored this vineyard.. We recall the first Catholics who suffered for their faith. Let us continue to share this faith through our lives and actions. May our celebration inspire the youth and children to strengthen their faith and may by our singing and praying many others may be inspired''. He exhorted the faithful.

The Cardinal concluded his homily once again recalling the life of late Archbishop Dominic Jala; ''let me conclude by saying about my Salesian brother late Archbishop Dominic Jala, he lived his life going to every corner of the North East and the whole world for his love for the Eucharist. He was a trainer of the Eucharist.. his love for Eucharist inspired the whole of India and the world, today we honour his memory. May Jala lives in our hearts through this Eucharistic Celebration. Let us honour him by the mission of the Breaking of the Bread. May his mission continue in your life and may your life be blessed a hundred fold.''

After the Holy Mass the Cardinal, the archbishop, the bishops and the Diocesan administrator were felicitated by the Catholic Association. Followed by the presentation of the Catechists' Award and the 'Iing Khristan' Award.


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