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DB Bicentenary: The West Khasi Hills Line Up!

By Joseph Pulinthanath sdb
Students of St. Peter`s Higher Secondary School at the Hoisting of the Don Bosco Bicentenary Flag
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Shillong, Aug. 19. Torrential downpour could not dampen the enthusiasm of Don Bosco Institutions and Parishes in West Khasi Hills - Nongstoin, Sonapahar, Rangblang and Rambrai - from joining the rest of the Don Bosco world and ushering in the Bicentennial celebrations in an inspiring manner.
Three tiered events - at the hostel, parish and school - characterized the celebrations at St. Peter's Pyndengrei, the earliest mission in the region. On 16th August, the hostlers and teachers joined the two religious communities of Fathers and Sisters in the Mission for a solemn Holy Eucharist presided over by Rector and Parish Priest, Fr. Peter Syiemlieh and concelebrated by Frs. Gel Bhoi and Anthony Wahlang. The Holy Mass was followed by the Bicentenary Flag ceremony, which Fr. Peter, the Parish Priest hoisted in the absence of the invited chief guest Shri. J. Lakiang, ADC of Nongstoin. Mr. Lakiang could not make it due to the incessant rain. Hymns to Don Bosco were sung and refreshments served.

On 17th August, Sunday, the Parish Level the Bi-centenary celebrations began by the hoisting of the Flag by Shri. W. Mawsor, Member of Legislative Assembly, Mawthangkut Constituency, Meghalaya. Shri. Mawsor, himself a past pupil of Don Bosco School, Nongstoin, in his inaugural speech spoke glowingly of the contributions made by the Salesian Society in the world and in North East India in particular. The solemn Sunday Mass followed the flag hosting ceremony.

The celebrations held at St. Peter's Hr. Sec. School on 18th August, too commenced with the Hoisting of the Flag by Shri. Edward Marngar, Sub-Inspector of Schools, West Khasi Hills District, Nongstoin. Shri Marngar who is also a past pupil of Don Bosco, was earlier welcomed by the students with garlands and songs. Fr. Peter, the secretary of the school thanked him for accepting the invitation. In return, the Chief Guest acknowledged that it was the Salesians that helped him come up in life. He paid rich tribute to the Salesian missionaries, past and present that play a vital role in uplifting the region.

Rt. Rev. Victor Lyngdoh, D. D., Bishop of of Nongstoin was the Chief Guest at the celebrations at Sonapahar Mission. After hoisting the Bicentenary Flag in the presence of Fr. Augustine Kootala, Parish Priest, Fr. Tom, Parish Priest of Mawlangdep, Nongstoin, Fr. Francisco Dkhar, asst. Parish Priest and a large number of faithful, the Bishop delivered a speech profusely thanking the past and present Salesian missionaries for the contributions they have made to the state, particularly to his diocese.

At Rambrai Mission, the Salesian Co-operators joined Fr. Telesphorus Nonglang, the parish priest to celebrate the Bicentenary. The inaugurational function began with a prayer service and was followed by the hoisting of the flag. Fr. Anthony Wahlang, Asst. parish priest of Nongstoin mission animated the co-operators' meet, and spoke on the relevance of Don Bosco at the present times.

At the Rangblang Mission in Nongstoin Diocese too the students of St. Mary's High School, enthusiastically came in huge numbers in spite of the heavy rain to take part in the Bi-centenary celebrations. Fr. Stephen K. Bani, the Parish Priest, hoisted the Centenary flag. It was followed by a well prepared cultural programme.
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