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Kohima

First Catholic priest from Khonoma village ordained

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By EMN Updated: Jan 03, 2021 12:24 am
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Megoriakho Thomas Punyϋ and Rev. Dr. James Thoppil along with other members after the ordination ceremony in Khonoma village on December 30.

Dimapur, Jan. 2 (EMN): Reverend Deacon Megoriakho Thomas Punyü, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kohima on December 30 at Khonoma. He became the first priest from St. John the Evangelist Church, Khonoma.

The ordination ceremony was presided over by the bishop of Kohima diocese Rev. Dr. James Thoppil. The motto of the newly ordained priest was “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

In his homily, the bishop explained that a priest is ordained, not of men but of God to lift up Jesus Christ that men might look unto Him and be saved.

The function of the priest, according to the bishop is to lift up Christ that he might draw all men unto Him and give them eternal life, an update from the church stated.

He told deacon Thomas to remember that lifting up Jesus Christ before men is to be his life-work, so that he might draw them unto Him. The bishop also encouraged him to be not merely a priest but a good priest for God’s people, his flock, through prayer, withdrawal from busy pursuits and diligent study of the word of God. He advised the new priest by saying, “You are a pastor, not functionary. Be a mediator, not intermediary.”

He concluded by thanking the family and relatives of Deacon Thomas for offering him to God and to the church. He urged the family members and the community to continue to uphold Deacon Thomas in their prayers.

Earlier, Deacon Thomas Punyü entered the church with the bishop, priests, family members and accompanied by his age group members. It stated that the traditional blessing was pronounced by Vikepelhu Lucas Meyase, followed by the rite of ordination presided over by the bishop.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Pezalhukho George Rino, assistant professor and director of men’s hostel of St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Jakhama, led the ordination ceremony, while Rev.Fr. Vekupa George, assistant parish priest of Khonoma, accorded words of welcome.

The holy mass was followed by felicitation and community feast in which songs were presented by CYA Khonoma and Salesian Novitiates from Sechü Zubza. Speeches were also delivered by the bishop and Kepelhuto Peter Punyü, father of the newly ordained priest.

In his acknowledgement, Rev.Fr. Thomas Punyü thanked all those who have encouraged him during his journey to priesthood and made it possible for him to stand at the altar. The vote of thanks was delivered by Neikeselie Albert, president of Khonoma ACU.

Rev. Fr. Thomas did his early schooling in Khonoma and theological studies at Papal Seminary of St. Francis Xavier, Pune. He was ordained Deacon by Auxiliary Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, Archdiocese of Bombay, on February 8, 2020.

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By EMN Updated: Jan 03, 2021 12:24:41 am