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From 21-23 AUG 2015 Salvatorians celebrated three major events of their history: the 125th anniversary of the presence of the Church in North East India, the 125th Anniversary of the death of Fr. Otto Hopfenmüller SDS and 25 years of re-establishment of the Salvatorians in India.

On 21 AUG the triple celebration began with a memorial Eucharistic celebration marking the 125th death anniversary of Fr. Otto Hopfenmüller SDS, the first Salvatorian missionary sent in 1890 by Fr. Jordan to Assam. On 22 AUG evening a prayer service took place in which Fr. Agustίn Van Baelen SDS, General Mission Secretary, introduced the Salvatorian mission to the gathering.

On 23 AUG thousands of people gathered for the thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration presided by Very Rev. Dominic Jala SDB, Archbishop of Shillong. There were about 90 priests, among them 25 Salvatorians, such as Frs. Milton Zonta, Superior General, Raúl Gómez, Vicar General & General Secretary, Agustίn Van Baelen, General Mission Secretary, Alex McAllister, Provincial (UK), Piotr Filas, Provincial (PL), Mirek Stanek, Mission in-charge (PL), Mieczyslaw Kijaczek, former missionary in India, John Vallomprayil, the pioneer who helped re-establish the Salvatorian mission in India, Thomas Runggaldier, Missionary from Austria, Jesusrajan Lambert Juliu from Sri Lanka, Sunil Thomas, Vicariate Superior and several Salvatorians confreres representing the different communities in India. It was a marvelous experience for the Salvatorians from outside India to see how much the Salvatorians are loved by the Catholics in the North East of the country, and to feel what a deep memory the people have regarding the hard work of our first Salvatorian Missionaries in that region.

The ceremony started with a solemn procession from the Archbishop’s House to the newly constructed monument of Fr. Otto Hopfenmüller leading to the Cathedral. There the monument was unveiled by Fr. Milton and blessed by the Archbishop. The Archbishop in his homily lauded the relentless and hard work of the pioneer missionaries. Despite the most trying circumstances, Fr. Otto Hopfenmüller and his team implanted the faith in this region. Frs. Milton and Agustίn in their speeches drew a line from the past to the future, and pointed out how the apostolic zeal of the first Salvatorian missionaries continues to be an inspiration for the present and future generations in living their Salvatorian vocation.

Also on 23 AUG, in order to commemorate the Jubilee, the foundation stone for a new chapel at the Otto Hopfenmüller Study House in Shillong was blessed by Fr. Milton and jointly laid by Frs. Raúl and Agustίn. This chapel will eventually serve the spiritual needs of the people around Mawlai-Mawroh (Shillong).

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Franciscus Jordan

P

ray at all times in the deepest humility and with the greatest confidence. Let nothing keep you from it.

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