Bishop McKenna visits Nagaland, India
I have just completed a short visit to the church in Nagaland in the far northeast of India. Accompanied by Mr Mike Deasy, the Director of Catholic Mission in our Diocese, we brought the presence of our local church of Bathurst to the Diocese of Kohima: and bring back to you their gratitude for our support and promise of future sharing in proclaiming the Gospel together.
As you know, the annual Christmas appeal across our Diocese, starting last year and continuing in coming years, is for St Peter’s Parish in the remote mountainous village of Sanis. Specifically, we want to help them build new classrooms for their school, St Paul’s, of 230 students.
The Church in Nagaland, a region with 16 major tribes, is growing strongly. More people are becoming Catholic and local vocations to the priesthood and religious life are increasing. A big factor in this has been the work of Catholic schools, which are open to all. They provide a better general education than the government schools offer: and an introduction to Catholic faith to the students and their families.
Life in the hills of Nagaland is simple and the people are hard working, mainly in agriculture. The ancient culture is still alive and respected and affirmed by the Catholic Church. It is beautifully present in the Liturgy when the people sing in natural harmonies. I told them how wonderful this sounded and that it expressed a deep reality of the Church: different voices working together in one song. May our voices join with theirs.
Bishop of Bathurst