DIBRUGARH, Jan 8 � The diamond jubilee of the Catholic diocese of Dibrugarh got off to a colourful start here on Saturday with the Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati unfurling the jubilee flag amidst hundreds of Catholic assembly and host of dignitaries at the Cathedral campus in Bishop�s House here.
The assembly joined the choir as the flag was being hoisted while Monsignor Michael Kelly, the Abbot General of Benedictines, Rome, Joseph Aind, the Bishop of Dibrugarh along with Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi, former Dibrugarh MP Sarbananda Sonowal, Dibrugarh Municipal Board chairman Chandrakanta Baruah, Zilla Parishad president Meena Teli, Dibrugarh District Sports� Association secretary Jamshed Khan and other dignitaries stood in reverence.
Archbishop Menamparampil in his exhortation during the inaugural function called upon the assembly to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ. He said that the region was in need of development in all spheres. �We have to work hand in hand cutting across religious, caste and party lines to bring about peace along with development in the region,� Archbishop added. Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil was the fourth Bishop of Dibrugarh and served the people of the diocese for eleven years.
Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi while addressing the gathering expressed pride that the mission schools under the diocese were contributing immensely towards quality education in the region. He thanked the missionaries for their undaunted service in the field of education, health and development activities.
Former MP Sarbananda Sonowal expressed his gratitude to the early missionaries who started their mission works in the region, stating that it was due to their enormous hardwork the diocese came about to serve so much for the people. �If we can keep up their spirit we can certainly develop a harmonoius human society,� he said. Acknowledging that the diocese was contributing towards quality education, Sonowal said that the people of the region expected more from the diocese. �You can help the society to make Assam an important part of the country,� the former MP said.
The diocese of Dibrugarh was created in on July 12, 1951 after it was carved out from the diocese of Shillong. Orestes Marengo was the first Bishop of the Dibrugarh diocese. The diocese looks after the mission works in the districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat.
The jubilee programme also included a religious procession that was taken out in the evening. The procession started from Bishop�s house enroute Red Cross Road � Phool Bagan- Thana Chariali and back to venue. A section of people taking part in the procession carried cultural drums and were also dressed in their respective cultural attires. A float containing the �Blessed Sacrament� of Jesus Christ was carried on decorated truck all along the procession.