Mary Help of Christians Parish in Jakhama Celebrates 50 Years

Kohima: Bishop James Thoppil along with priests and confirmands during the golden jubilee celebration at Mary Help of Christians Parish in Jakhama.

BY | Sunday, 21 April, 2024

The golden jubilee of the Mary Help of Christians Parish Jakhama was celebrated with a eucharist on the theme : ‘My soul magnifies the Lord! My spirit rejoices in God my savior’ (Luke 1:46) on April 21 in Kohima.

During the service, Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, the Bishop of Kohima Diocese, Nagaland, delivered a message, emphasising on gratitude, repentance, and renewal.

Making references from passages in Leviticus 25:8-18, Ephesians 3:14-21, and Luke 1:46-57, he urged faithful to honor the pioneers’ unwavering faith, which laid the cornerstone of the Catholic community in their pand.

Thoppil expressed appreciation to the Jesuit Society and the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel for their invaluable contributions. He emphasized the importance of reflecting on the past with gratitude, living the present with fervor, and embracing the future with hope, echoing the sentiments of Pope Francis.

Stressing the need to uphold Catholic principles and values, he called upon the faithful to lead lives characterized by service, sacrifice, and detachment from worldly pursuits.

Thoppil urged believers to leave behind a lasting legacy by living out their faith authentically and selflessly, reflecting the teachings of St. Paul in order to grasp the depth of Christ’s love and be filled with the fullness of God.

Rev. Fr. Melvil Pereira SJ, the Regional Superior of Kohima Jesuits, recounted the parish’s humble beginnings in 1959 and its remarkable growth since then. Paying tribute to the pioneers who embraced the Catholic faith, he highlighted the establishment of Loyola School in 1974 at Jakhama as a vital moment in the parish’s development.

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Expressing gratitude on behalf of the Jesuits, Fr. Pereira commended the parishioners for their dedication, which had led to the establishment of two additional parishes and several educational institutions.

Encouraging the community to look to the future with hope, he emphasized the importance of spreading the values of Jesus Christ through both words and actions.

Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Patton SJ, the parish priest, highlighted the parish’s humble beginnings and impressive growth while recounting how, fifty years ago, the parish became a beacon of light and love in the community.

He expressed deep gratitude for the historic moment when their parish was officially established, under the guidance of Fr. Stany Coelho SJ.

Today, with 3,541 members and a significant number of clergy, he affirmed their celebration, resilience, unity, and love defining their community while thanking pioneers and parishioners past and present.

Looking ahead, he reminded the need to embrace the future with hearts full of gratitude and love, reflecting the words of Mother Mary in the Magnificat.

About 50 priests, 55 nuns, 51 confirmands, 62 first holy communicants, and over 2,500 faithful attended the jubilee.

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