Saturday, February 15, 2014

Inspired by the holiness of the missionaries, a young tribal Khasi becomes a priest by the "honesty and holiness" of the priests he met as a child, he chose to convert and then accept a vocation to the priesthood. 

This is the story of life and faith of Fr Bruslee Lamin, and ethnic Khasi who converted to Catholicism as a teenager. Day by day, his faith developed until it turned into a vocation for the consecrated life. 

On 26 January, he was ordained, becoming the first diocesan priest in his community.

The Khasi are a tribal ethnic group native to Meghalaya, a state in north-eastern India. Most Khasi still live in the state, but some have moved to neighbouring Assam and Bangladesh. 

In Fr Bruslee's community, Catholicism came with the missionaries of the Holy Cross when they arrived in the district of Moulovibazar, where most people are animist and work in the tea plantations.

The missionaries opened schools and set up a hostel. When he attended one of these facilities, the young Bruslee was exposed to Christianity. 

In grade eighth, he expressed a desire to convert. With the support of his family, who did not hinder his spiritual journey, he was baptised and received his first Holy Communion.
After completing his studies, Bruslee entered the seminary, where he studied for 12 years.

"Beside the missionaries I met, my father inspired me to accept my vocation," the young priest told AsiaNews. "My parents are very happy that I have become a priest."

"Catholic missionaries have worked with the tribal Khasi for their social and spiritual development," said Fr Dominic Sarkar, parish priest in Srimangal.

"Now," he told AsiaNews, "this community is offering priests to the universal Church."