The new Sacred Heart Church in Neotan village in Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The new Sacred Heart Church in Neotan village in Arunachal Pradesh state of India.  

Remote northeast Indian village in Arunachal Pradesh gets region’s biggest church

Neotan villagers received their new Sacred Heart Church on December 5, the day 19 years ago when they embraced Christ.

By Robin Gomes

Neotan, one of the remote villages in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Myanmar, witnessed the inauguration of the biggest church in the state on Wednesday. 

Blessing the brand new Sacred Heart Church, the small Mossang tribal community of Neotan in Changlang district celebrated the day when they first embraced the Catholic faith 19 years ago.

Leading the December 5 celebration was Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the visiting Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).  Among others were Bishop Joseph Aind of Dibrugarh, local Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Paniptichai of Miao, Coadjutor Bishop Albert Hemrom Dibrugarh and some 2000 people from across the district.

Bishop Mascarenhas said that the message of peace, love, forgiveness preached by Jesus Christ is what is needed most in the world today. “In today’s context of hate, discrimination and polarization, the Gospel message can mend broken relationship and heal broken hearts”, he said.

Prior to the inauguration of the Church, the Bishops planted saplings around the Church premise, to stress the importance of conserving and promoting the environment.

Bishops Joseph and George who introduced Neotan village to the Catholic faith 19 years ago congratulated the people for their new church and appreciated them for all the sacrifices they made to realize it.

“It is like our dream come true”, said local catechist  Mr. Chomjung Mossang, echoing the sentiments of the entire village.

The new church that can accommodate 2000 faithful took two years to complete and was possible mostly because of the people’s sacrifices and local fundraising.

Bishop-designate Hemrom of Dibrugarh released a hymn and Mass prayer booklet in local dialect during the short felicitation programme held at the conclusion of the blessing ceremony.

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Inauguration of Sacred Heart Church, Neotan
07 December 2018, 17:37