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A new Church at Amguri, Kokrajhar

By Fr. Francis Fernandez
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Guwahati, Dec. 23. Rt. Rev. Thomas Pulloppallil, the bishop of Bongaigaon diocese, presided over the blessing of a new Church at Amguri, about 15 kms before reaching Kokrajhar, on 21st December 2010. The Church was constructed by Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, in collaboration with Don Bosco, Kokrajhar, which has also a parish attached to it. The Church construction was supported by James Senior & Mary Ann Vanderloop and Family, Nebraska, USA. The beautifully constructed Church has now become a focal point for the people of Amguri and the surrounding region.
The celebration was attended by a big gathering of faithful, priests and religious, and the Church could easily accommodate around 500 people, while the rest participated in the Eucharistic celebration from outside. The community, mainly belonging to the Santali group, was very active and vigorous in their participation of the Eucharist, conducted in their own mother tongue, with appropriate commentaries by Fr. Barnabas Mardi sdb, the asst. Parish Priest of Kokrajhar and the person entrusted with the responsibility of looking after this sub-centre of Kokrajhar.

It was a day long programme for the children and the elders. The day began with a march past by the children from around 30 Care Schools managed by DBI, Guwahati. There followed a well-prepared fancy dress competition, followed by the reception for the Bishop. The blessing ceremony began at 12.00 and it concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist. In the meanwhile, the children had their own mela in a ground close by, assisted by the school staff and DBI staff. A Christmas lunch capped the celebrations. The children's mela was the first such experience for the more than 1500 children who had come from the aforementioned schools.

Amguri came into prominence in December 2009 with the establishment of a proceeding high school which was inaugurated and blessed on that occasion by Shri Kamba Borgoyary, the Deputy Chief of the Bodo Autonomous District. DBI, with the help of a group of Germany doctors, has succeeded in the construction of 7 RCC schools of primary, secondary and high school grades, thus establishing a group of 39 CARE schools meant especially for the children of those affected by ethnic violence in 1996. The transformation seen in the children in the course of years brings about added vigour and enthusiasm to the DBI efforts at managing ever better these CARE schools.
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