By Francis Khongwar
Shillong ( Meghalaya), Jan 13 : The Catholic Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese, Most Rev. Victor Lyngdoh today unfurled the flag of the Salesian of Don Bosco of Don at Bosco Technical School here marking the year-long celebration of the arrival of the Salesian congregation in Shillong on this day, a century ago.
The unfurling of the flag was followed by a procession to the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians for the celebration of Holy Mass admits carrying of the cross of Lord Jesus and the Bible heralding advent of the Gospel and the arrival of the Salesian Missionaries from Europe in Khasi Jaintia Hills on the January 13, 1922.
Speaking at the Holy Mass, Archbishop Lyngdoh thanked God for the Selesian congregation for their work of evangelize and also for the spread of education in the North East.
On January 12, 1922, eleven brave Salesians of Don Bosco came as missionaries to Northeast India. They landed in Guwahati on 12th January and came up to Shillong on 13th January. The group was led by a charismatic and able leader Fr. Louis Mathias who later became the first bishop of Shillong in 1934 and was then transferred to Chennai as its archbishop.
The eleven pioneering missionaries were – Mgr. Louis Mathias as the leader, Fr. Giovanni Deponti, Fr. Emmanuel Bars, Fr. Giuseppe Gill, Fr. Giuseppe Hauber, Fr. Paolo Bonardi, Bro. Pietro Aprile, Bro. Mario Calzi, Bro. Agostino Conti, Bro. Laureano Santana and Bro. Gumersindo Cid. They hailed from four different European countries, namely, Italy, France, Spain and San Marino. These missionaries through their hard work and dedicated service to the Church and to society have laid a solid foundation for the years to come.