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CM hails Catholic Church for its contribution to Education and Health care in Garo Hills

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TURA, Nov 5: For the thousands of Catholic faithful in the Garo Hills, November 5th will forever be etched in their hearts and minds as a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving to God Almighty as they descended like a sea of devotees to the Don Bosco stadium in Tura where the Holy eucharistic service was held to usher in the golden jubilee of Tura Diocese- the first Catholic Church that was established in 1973.

The day was celebrated with great joy, fervour and devotion as the faithful began descending from all corners of Garo Hills as early as 7 AM to be in time for the special programme.

In Pics | 50 years of Tura Diocese: Special Service at Don Bosco Stadium in Tura

It was also a day to look back in fond remembrance of the first missionaries who set foot in Garo Hills way back in 1933 to preach the Gospel and set the stage for the church to spread its wings not just in religious work, but also in the field of education and healthcare.

Seniormost catholic priest, Archbishop of Guwahati, John Moolachira, offered the holy Eucharistic to celebrate and bless the golden jubilee of the Tura diocese on Sunday morning in the presence of a sea of devotees.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma who specially flew down from Shillong on Sunday morning to attend the golden jubilee celebrations addressed the gathering during the cultural programme.


He said that today was a day of thanksgiving to the almighty Father by the faithful for the achievement of such a milestone by the church.

Bishop Andrew in his speech spoke from what level it started to this level, it is unique.

“Today is a day of thanksgiving and joyful celebration. Many have sacrificed for the faith, especially the priests and missionaries. We can never forget the pioneering work of the missionaries and on behalf of the faithful I give my appreciation,” said Chief minister Conrad K Sangma.

The chief minister was accompanied by Lok Sabha MP from Tura Agatha K Sangma, Meghalaya Speaker Thomas A Sangma, GHADC CEM Albinush Marak and other MLAs and MDCs.

The chief minister also gave a special word of appreciation to the longest serving bishop of Tura, Bishop Emeritus George Mamalassary who was the architect behind the establishment of countless schools and medical dispensaries all across the Garo Hills during his tenure as parish priest and later as the Bishop of Tura.


“Bishop Mama (Mamalassary) is a man of God who faced multiple challenges in his long service to the people of Garo Hills. He always faced them upfront and never faltered. The Tura diocese has contributed immensely to education and health care and it is a proud moment for all of us that the top educational institutions in our state and country hail from the Catholic Church,” said the chief minister.

The chief minister did not forget the immense contributions to the health sector by the Tura Diocese which led from the front during the Covid pandemic opening up its Pastoral Centre in Tura to accommodate dozens of covid patients for treatment and also providing relief by way of food items for the needy during the lockdown.

“When it came to medical care, the church has been in the front playing a proactive role by establishing health centres at the sub centre and primary level in the villages of Garo Hills,” lauded the chief minister.

Earlier, Bishop of Tura Andrew Marak gave a breakdown of the number of medical centres and hospitals run by the church, including the Holy Cross Hospital in Tura.

The first catholic parishes ever to be established in Garo Hills were at Damra (now in Assam), Dalu, Baghmara, Tura, Rongjeng and Resubelpara. Today it has swelled to 47 parishes.

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