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First Tiwa Salesian Priest ordained by the Bishop of Diphu

By Father Bivan R. Mukhim
Guwahati, Jan. 13. Father Joachim Pumah, the first Priest from the Salesian parish of Amkachi was ordained on 10 January 2016 by his Bishop Paul Mattekatt, DD the Bishop of Diphu at St. Paul Catholic Church, Amkachi. He was accompanied to the altar by his parents and relatives amidst thousands of faithful who gathered to witness this solemn occasion of ordination. About 35 priests concelebrated in the ordination Mass.
A resident of Mawpynjeng in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, Father Joachim Pumah was the first Salesian priest from the Tiwa tribe. A son of Mr. Nicholas Malang and Mrs. Maria Goretti Pumah, Joachim was a boarding boy at the Parish in his younger days and would pray often for his vocation. ''During my ordination I prayed that I may be strong and faithful priest,'' said Father Pumah

Bishop Paul Mattekatt said that ordination is an opportunity to thank God for the great grace showered not only to the newly ordained but to the family, the village and the parish. He urged the new priest to keep in mind the great grace that God has bestowed during the year of mercy. He said, ''leading God's faithful in the sacrament of reconciliation would be a way to help people in their spiritual life, how they understand God, how you can help them understand the reality of God in their life.''    
While expressing his gratitude to God and to all the people who have helped him to be a priest, Father Joachim said that he was inspired by the simplicity and sacrifice of the Salesians who worked in the Karbi Hills. Father Joachim said ''I am attracted to the Salesian charism and the community life of the Salesians and soon came to learn of the founder St. John Bosco and the work among the poor youth.'' He said that he was inspired by the generations of Catholics who kept the fire of faith burning in the parish.

After the ordination Mass there was a programme to felicitate the newly ordained priest. Father VM Thomas, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Guwahati thanked the family members and the parish for helping the new priest and making the ordination programme a success.
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