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Don Bosco visits the remotest Salesian presence in Arunachal

By Fr. Tarcisius Toppo
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Dimapur, May. 19. It was a historic visit of Don Bosco to Don Bosco school, Pallin, in Kurung Kumey District of West Arunachal Pradesh, the farthest Salesian presence in West Arunachal Pradesh on 17 May. It looked as if Don Bosco himself had come to console the Salesians and the people after the tragic event of February 2010, which quite disturbed the province and the work in the centre, where the Salesians were falsely accused of setting fire to a hostel which claimed the lives of seven children and injured many. It was indeed a reassuring moment both for the confreres the people, in whom the memories of the event are still fresh. Don Bosco had come to bring peace and solace.
The solemn Mass was presided over by Fr. Francis Tinglung, Parish Priest and concelebrated by four other priests, which was preceded by Fr. Nestor Guria, giving a brief explanation about the history, significance and importance of veneration of relics in the Church. The homily was preached by Fr. Joseph Pampackal, who stressed on the blessings of Don Bosco to the centre through the instrumentality of various people, especially of Fr. Mazzzalli, the then Economer General, who had visited the place. He also pointed out that Don Bosco has changed the place and the people through his presence in Pallin. The parish community kept vigil with the relic with religious communities around.

On 16 May the relic of Don Bosco visited Don Bosco school, Doimukh, a newly opened centre of the Salesians. A solemn Mass was celebrated, in which Fr. T.J. Sebastian presided over joined by several priests and around a thousand faithful. After the Mass Fr. Anto, a Vincentian, charismatic preacher, conducted a healing session in the presence of the relic.

After that relic left for Yachuli, formerly a Salesian centre, but handed over to the diocese of Itanagar in 2010.. Currently the centre is looked after by the Society of catholic Apostolate (SAC), popularly known as the Pallotine fathers. The faithful gave a prayer welcome to the relic of Don Bosco, bringing the relic in a candle lit procession from Yachuli market to the Parish Church. The number of the faithful was around 1000. The faithful paid their homage to Don Bosco and spent time in prayer and reflection.

The relic made a halt for the night and the next morning after the Mass it travelled to Ziro and Pallin. The motorcade consisting of around 30 vehicles and ten motorbikes from Catholic Church Zrio came to welcome the relic from Yachuli, which is around one hour drive. The Apatanis, known for their orderliness and colourfulness made sure Don Bosco was welcomed fittingly. The motorcade took the relic through the town before entering the parish and the school which is named after the saint. The vibrant, and devout, parish community of fourteen hundred catholics - around 300 families and nine subcentres - showed their love and affection for the saint of the young. The emotion-filled crowd was just impressive and inspiring.

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