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Christ the Light Chapel - Siloam : Blessed and Dedicated on 11th August, 2013


By Fr. George Maliekal, Provincial
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Shillong, Aug. 13. The new chapel / Prayer Center at Siloam (Transformational Leadership Resource Center), Umiam was blessed by Most Rev. Dominic Jala, Archbishop of Shillong on Sunday 11th August, 2013. The chapel was dedicated to Christ the Light during the Holy Eucharist. About 45 priests concelebrated at the Eucharistic Celebration among whom were also the Salesian Provincials of India and Sri Lanka as well as members of various religious communities from Shillong and nearby areas.
There was a large gathering of 2000 faithful from various parishes of Shillong and Ri Bhoi who were present to glorify God and thank Him for the blessings God has bestowed on us, and on Siloam.

Majority of the faithful were young people and church workers from various parishes and St. Anthony's College, who had earlier attended programs in Siloam. The young people had come earlier in the week to clean and prepare the chapel and the premises for the blessing.  Even as the rains continued in the morning, a wonderful group of young people, and volunteers gathered in the small chapel for intercessory prayers, and miraculously, the skies changed and the rains took a break until all the functions and the community meal, were over.

In the afternoon, the students of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Mawlai organized a wonderful hour long adoration service in the newly blessed chapel and several of the faithful attended it.

The Chapel at Siloam has been in the planning stage for a long time. It was always designed to be the focus of all the activities and programs held at Siloam ever since its beginnings in February 2006. Over the past years Siloam has conducted various programs of educational, psychological, spiritual and developmental nature for more than 3000 persons annually.

The Chapel dedicated to Christ the Light, has been designed to highlight the natural beauty of the place, and to use it to enhance the spiritual yearnings in every person. It has large size windows overlooking the beautiful Umiam lake, as well as eight large size glass panels of Gospel scenes of Jesus' ministry for various people. The central glass panel depicting Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, points to the form of leadership that is characterized by service and humility.

With some innovative additions, like the water that flows down the center aisle to the bottom of the altar, it is obvious that the chapel has been designed to provide a quiet and serene place for people, young and old, to pray, reflect, seek and find God. The sincere hope and wish of all at Siloam is that it will always be a place of peace, comfort - and primarily a Place for God.

As all are in admiration for this magnificent place of worship, a beautiful bouquet of appreciation and gratitude is due to Fr. George Palamattathil, Director of the Centre. Great dedication, meticulous planning and painstaking execution by Fr. George, assisted by numerous friends and well wishers enabled the realization of the Chapel.

The ceremony of blessing and dedication was solemnly done, thanks to Fr. Michael Makri, Deacon Gervasius Nongkseh and numerous others who are and who love to be part of Siloam.
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