These days I had been on a journey to the north eastern parts of India and had the privilege of witnessing the great reputation, the church has earned in this region especially through the Salesians of Don Bosco. Also I had the opportunity to live with a very young MCBS priest in a village in Arunachal Pradesh where the station Church is only recently elevated as a Parish. We the visitors, (myself and a colleague of mine) stayed at a thatched roof building, along with the young priest and his assistant.

The Parish comprises of a wide area, the nearest station is 5 kilometres close and the farthest one is 32 kilometres away. The priests make sure that at least once in a month, the Holy Eucharist is celebrated in all 16 station churches which belong to the Parish.

Travelling, even in a vehicle is a big challenge in this area. Driving a vehicle is almost like taking an adventure ride in a theme park. Yet the two priests were very willing to take us around to the villages. One of them made a passing remark which had a very tremendous impact on me -“When we are captivated by a sense of mission, a greater energy will descend upon us from above”.

Along with the priests, we participated in a family unit prayer meeting too. The openness, the warmth of love, the admiration and the appreciation of the local people there, for the priests etc., were very touching. One thing which made all of this practical was that, the priest who was born and brought up in Kerala and who had his entire seminary education Kerala was interacting with them in their local language. It is nothing less than a wonder, that he became so fluent in that language in such a short span of time.

While parting, we told him that we will be visiting his parents at home, but then he made a request of us. He asked us to tell them only about the comfortable things at the mission and to not talk about the difficulties there.

My brief stay in the village of North Eastern states, has given me some deeper understanding of the vocation to the priesthood. It may not be easy and comfortable to live that vocation but, at the same time it can be tremendously satisfying too. The awareness that our life is making significant influences in the lives of several others for their better, and that we are also contributing in the building of the kingdom of God here on earth, is deeply satisfying.

This may be true regarding all vocations as well. In our journey, we came across many religious sisters who were also making tremendous impact in the lives of many people.  We found them very supportive, going out of the way to help, being open, friendly and living with the deep sense of satisfaction and unwavering commitment to the kingdom of God. Even in the vocation of marriage, what is expected is that everybody should have a satisfying and fulfilling life, even while goingthrough all the hardships of raising a family and in taking care of children, while at the same time going through all the pressures of their own career and life.

I wish and pray that whatever be our vocation, we be able to live it, to its fullness, with the grace of God.


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