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Five deacons ordained priests

(4th from left) Most Rev. Dominic Lumon, Archbishop with the ordiained deacons (standing front) at Mao gate.
Published on 22 Dec. 2008 12:39 AM IST
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In an impressive and colourful ceremony, five religious deacons were ordained priests by Most Rev. Dominic Lumon, Archbishop at Christ the King Church, Mao Gate, Manipur on December 20. The deacons included Lokho Athili Martin SDB, Kaisii Moses Khrasi SDB, Adani James Bashena MSFS, Sapriina Ashihe Andrew MSFS and Ashuli Joseph Phimu SJ. "It is a great day for the Church in Manipur especially for the tribe of Mao," said the Archbishop in his introduction to the Eucharistic celebration, which was joined by more than a hundred priests, an equal number of Sisters and around 4000 faithful, which included Brothers, Novices, Pastors and deacons of the various churches, superiors and professors, parents, members of the family, relatives, friends and well wishers of the candidates. Among the dignitaries who were present at the occasion included, Fr. Neli Linus, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Imphal, Fr. Carlus N. Vicar General of the diocese of Kohima as well as Provincial Superiors of the five deacons, Fr. Charles D'Souza, SJ, Fr. Francis Thadathil, MSFS, Fr. James Poonthuruthil, SDB "Priest is minister of Christ, chosen, set apart for His noble task of discharging the duty of priest, prophet and king," said Fr. Neli Linus, in his homily explaining the sacrament of priesthood, exhorting them also to be faithful to the Gospel, believing in what they do and doing what they believe. The newly ordained priests were felicitated after the Eucharistic celebration, by women organization of Christ the King Church, youth, children, and Brothers and Sisters of Mao tribe. Fr. Francis Thadathil, the Provincial Superior of Missionary Society of Francis de Sales (MSFS), expressing his feelings about the first MSFS priests from the Mao tribe said that it was blessing and the grace of God, and it shows the growth of charisms in the local church. "The growth of the tribes both spiritually and socially has been manifested in the ordination of five Mao religious priests and the faith is growing stronger and generosity of the people is being made more visible and concrete," said Fr. T.T. Joseph, Parish Priests, St. Mary's Church, Punnanamai, Mao. A press release issued Bosco Communications, Dimapur Fr. Tarcisius Toppo stated that it was for the first time that five deacons were being ordained together in the mother parish of Mao, Maram and Poumei area, first Mao Jesuit priest, and first Mao MSFS priests and was the first ordination Mao gate. A press release also stated that archdiocese of Imphal had a local archbishop in person of Dominic Lumon, and has 57 other local priests, out of which 19 of them are from Mao tribe. The number of sisters from the Mao tribe is double the number of priests.

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