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By AL Jose
Guwahati, Jun. 12. Shillong, June 09: Accompanied by Kong Ampareen Lyngdoh, the lone lady in the Assembly and the Minister for Urban Affairs, Govt. of Meghalaya, the pilgrim relic of Don Bosco was received the most solemn way possible by the parish of Mawkyndeng. Mr. Vincent Pala, MP and Union minister of state for water resources, MLAs and MDCs of various constituencies of Jaintia Hills, and Shri Peter Synnah, the traditional village Head, Rangbah Shnong, himself was in attendance to welcome Don Bosco, as the first sons of Don Bosco were welcomed at Mowkyndeng in early 1922.
''This is a once in life time experience. We as a village is so blessed to have this fortune'' said, Bah Peter Synnah the headman.

Others more philosophical and said ''our generation is a blessed generation. We had the fortune to see Pope John Paul himself with our own eyes, and now another saint, St. John Bosco has come in our midst.''

People from all the villages of the 63 villages came to see Don Bosco in our midst. One villager, Joachim Massar said: ''we are so lucky to be able to see Don Bosco personally and speak to him. So far we have heard about him from others. Now we have seen him with our own eyes.''

It is feelings of this sort that is enlivening the faith of the people of Mowkyndeng parish who are so enthusiastic about the coming of Don Bosco.

Raliang was the second mission centre opened by the Salvatorians after their arrival in Shillong, in 1890. In 1891 a group of men from mowkyndeng village went on a delegation to Shillong to Shillong to invite the Catholic missionaries. A Catechist was sent first and in June 1892 Fr. Joannes Gruchot and Fr. Thaddesus Hoffmann reached mowkyndeng, as the first resident priests in a bamboo hut served as their residence and the chapel.

In 1897, the Salvatorian sisters opened their convent at Mowkyndeng.Their hostel and orphanage for boys and girls and a dispensary to care for the sick was a good beginning. In 1992, Raliang celebrated the centenary of the Catholic Mission. It is considered the mother church in Jaintia Hills. It was the only centre in the Jaintia hills when the Salesians arrived in 1922. Definitely in the post independence years the evangelization work extended to several villages. The valiant missionaries, the parish council, Salesian co-operators, Past Pupils, the seng Samla, the seng Longkmie, and the Seng Rangbah have played an active role in shaping the mission as it is today.
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