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Jubilee Year of Mercy concludes at Agartala
By Joseph Pulinthanath sdb
Shillong, Nov. 14. Over six thousand Catholics from twenty parishes of Tripura took part in the 8th Diocese level annual Eucharistic procession held at Agartala on 13th November 2016. After a solemn Holy Mass at Auxilium School grounds, the faithful accompanied the Blessed Sacrament in prayerful procession through select streets of Agartala. At the end of the 3-kilometer Procession the devotees gathered again at Auxilium grounds for a special session of preaching and to receive the blessing of Lord Jesus.
The day also marked the ending of the `Jubilee Year of Mercy` in all Catholic Dioceses of the world. In a symbolic gesture, Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala Diocese closed the central doors of Don Bosco Parish Church Nandan Nagar. The same was thrown open to the public a year ago when Pope Francis declared the Jubilee Year of Mercy and Bishop Monteiro announced Don Bosco Parish Church as the Church designated for Pilgrimage in the Diocese.

Lumen Monteiro, CSC, DD, Bishop of Agartala who presided over the solemn Holy Eucharist spoke of `mercy` in his homily. ``As people who have received abundant mercy from God, we ought to be merciful to others he said.`` Regarding the ending of the `Year of Mercy` he said, ``The Year of Mercy has come to an end and the `door` has been closed. But the time of mercy continues and the doors of our hearts always remain open, open to receive mercy and to give mercy to others.``

Earlier, Father Thomas Pereira CSC, the advisor to the Laity, called the procession `a manifestation of God`s mercy`.   The line from the psalm, ``I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,`` served as the theme of the procession and other events of the day. Fr. Robert Mathias CSC, the Holy Cross Provincial and Fr. George Maliekal SDB, the Salesian Provincial of Shillong Province also took part in the celebrations.

After the procession reached back Auxilium grounds, Father Rodney Borneo from Kolkata led the faithful in praise and worship of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, present on the altar. His profound reflections, lucid style and participatory method helped the people forget the tiredness and fatigue, instead focus solely on the immense love of Jesus. Mr. Paul Darlong, in his vote of thanks, thanked everyone who helped the Laity of the Diocese organize the procession. He thanked Auxilium Convent, for all the help they rendered in hosting this year's procession.

Since 2009, the Eucharistic Procession has been held annually in the Diocese of Agartala. Over the years, the event, organized by the Laity, has become a beautiful and only occasion when the entire faithful of the Diocese gather around the Eucharistic Lord in worship.

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