Giving up is not an option for a missionary: Bishop

MIAO, 20 Dec: “Giving up is not an option for a missionary,” said Miao diocese bishop George Pallipparambil, celebrating his ruby jubilee of priestly ordination here in Changlang district on Monday.

“As a missionary, making others live gives meaning to one’s life,” said the missionary bishop, who became a priest on 1982 and since then has been serving mostly in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh.

Addressing his friends and past pupils who came from different parts of Northeast India, bishop George said, “In our efforts to make others live, we will encounter challenges of all kinds, but the moment we give up, we lose the meaning of our life as a missionary.”

Recalling the initial days of his work among the youths of Arunachal, bishop Pallipparambil said, “When I first visited Arunachal Pradesh in 1980, I was kept under detention for 18 hours. I did not know then that the church would grow to be what it is today.”

Among many collaborates of the Salesian prelate present was Fr Mathew Pulingathil, the first rector who received and groomed the young Pallipparambil for the Arunachal mission among the youths.

Recollecting how the Salesian congregation entrusted the responsibility of guiding Arunachal’s youths with deacon George at the Bosco Bible School in Tinsukia, Fr Pulingathil said, “I believe that decision was not mine but god’s. I say this, having seen the result of what has been achieved.”

Expressing appreciation for bishop Pallipparambil, Fr Pulingathil said, “The story of bishop George is an example of hard work, commitment and sacrifice, and seeing his faithfulness, god made him responsible for a greater mission, a whole diocese.”

Fr Alex Pulimoottil, one of the first companions of bishop George, who travelled together from Kerala to Northeast India some 50 years ago, said, “George always stood out among us. His capacity and calibre were noticeable from the initial days of our formation period itself. He was always focussed and drawn towards the people of Arunachal Pradesh.”

At the felicitation ceremony after the holy mass, students from Kristu Jyothi Minor Seminary, Miao, and Newman School, Neotan, sang felicitation hymns.

Maram (Manipur)-based Don Bosco College principal Fr KO Sebastian and catechists Chomjung Mossang and Jiten Dai thanked bishop Pallipparambil for his contribution to the people of east Arunachal for 40 years as a priest and 17 years as a bishop.