Monday, December 27, 2010

New cathedral blends local art and culture

Guwahati archdiocese’s new cathedral will attract people of northeastern India as it has incorporated local art and culture, Church people claim.

“We are invited to come and find solace here,” said Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati after opening the Christ the Bearer of Good News Church at Dispur on Dec. 19.

The Salesian prelate said the church symbolized the “deeper reality” of God’s presence. “It is the external expression of God’s presence among us,” he said and added the Church is a source of strength for all “even those who have abandoned the Church.”

The archbishop said the cathedral chose the name to remind its people to become bearers of the Good News. 

“Today when we find joy at the completion of this great church we also know that God is glorified even when we pray in a little hut,” he added.

The church has used japi and horai that local people use to honor guests.

The church is centrally located in northeastern India. “Already lots of visitors are coming,” an excited parishioner told

Dispur parish was started in 1997 by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins led by Father Peter Celestine, now the bishop of Jammu Srinagar diocese.

Now, the Missionaries of Francis de sales Priests manage the parish that has 165 Catholic families and about 500 parishioners.

The archdiocese organized a mission congress to prepare for cathedral opening. Some 800 people attended the Dec. 17-18 program on the theme, “Let your light shine: Become the messenger and the message.”

Guwahati diocese was erected in 1992 carving it out from Shillong archdiocese and Tura and Tezpur dioceses. It became an archdiocese in 1995.

The archdiocese covers 13,961 where some 6.5 million people live. 

The Catholic population of 68,000 is spread over 42 parishes and centers.