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Fr. George Maliekal - First Provincial of Silchar
By Dianetious
Guwahati, Apr. 5. Fr. Pascual Chavez-Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has appointed Fr. George Maliekal as the 1st Provincial of the new Province of Silchar. The new Province will be officially inaugurated and Fr. George will assume office on May 24, 2012.
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A new Salesian Province is born in the Northeastern region of India. Rev. Fr. Pascual Chavez, the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco announced on 20th December 2011 the creation of the new Province of Silchar with Bl. John Paul II as its Patron, bifurcated from the Province of Guwahati. The Province of Silchar is the 11th Salesian Province in India. It comprises of the Salesian activities in the Archdiocese of Shillong, dioceses of Nongstoin, Jowai, Aizawl, Agartala and the Dima Hasao district of Diphu diocese. The territorial reality of the Province is the Khasi-Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, the states of Mizoram and Tripura, and the Dima Hasao district of Assam. The new Province has 35 centres. The number of Salesians of Don Bosco in the new Province counts about 250. Rev. Fr. George Maliekal is appointed as its first Provincial.

Fr. George Maliekal, born on 13th June 1958, hails from Holy Ghost Forane Church (Parish) of Muttuchira under Palai diocese in Kerala. He is the fifth in the family of seven children of (Lt.) Mr. Joseph Maliekal and Mrs. Annamma (83 years old). Devoted Catholic family atmosphere and `yes` to the divine call led young George and both his sisters to dedicate themselves as missionaries. Sr. Mary Joe FMM and Sr. Elsa Joe ICM continue serving the Lord in various capacities.

Fr. George made his first profession as a Salesian at Sunny Side (Shillong) in 1978. He did his philosophical studies at The Retreat, Yercaud (Tamil Nadu). As a cleric he spent three years at Savio Juniorate (Shillong) accompanying the young candidates. After completing his theological studies (1983-86) at Sacred Heart Theological College (Shillong), he was ordained priest on 30th December 1986 at Muttuchira, home parish in Kerala, by (Lt.) Rt. Rev. Bishop Mathai Kochuparambil of Diphu diocese.

Fr. George spent the first decade of his priestly life in the diocese of Diphu, as a pioneering missionary at Jirikyndeng and later at Sojong. During 1995-97 he served as rector of Don Bosco School, Tura. In 1998 he began his licentiate studies in Church History at the Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome. In 2004 Fr. George presented his doctoral thesis `History of Catholic Church among the Khasis` and obtained his doctorate. Back in India, he served as Registrar, Faculty member and Rector (2005-11) of Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. He has been serving as Assistant Parish Priest at Mount Calvary Parish, Rambrai (Nongstoin diocese) from July 2011.  

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