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FR. SNGI CELEBRATES HIS 90th BIRTHDAY
By Paul Vadakumpadan
Guwahati, Jan. 4. After Christmas and New Year's Day, the hill town of Shillong  wears a somewhat deserted look. With the mercury dipping further and a long winter on the cards, the fortunate few have already left for warmer pastures elsewhere.
After Christmas and New Year's Day, the hill town of Shillong  wears a somewhat deserted look. With the mercury dipping further and a long winter on the cards, the fortunate few have already left for warmer pastures elsewhere. Included among them are the students of Sacred Heart College, Mawlai. But that did not prevent the theologate from celebrating in a meaningful way the 90th birthday of Fr. Sylvanus Sngi Lyngdoh on 3 January.

The high point was a concelebrated Holy Mass. The participants, though eighteen only in number, were a very representative group: Archbishop Dominic Jala, Fr. John Madur, the chancellor of the diocese, himself a diocesan priest and hailing from the same village as Fr. Sngi, Salesian brothers Valeri and Abraham Antony, and several Salesian priests. A prominent layman, with a beautiful name, Mr. Ever Lasting, who is also a benefactor of Fr. Sngi, represented the laity. The day was doubly significant as it was also the liturgical memorial of Blessed Chavara Kuriakose. Fr. Sngi was thrilled to realize that the life of the Blessed Chavara was in some measure reflected in his own life. No doubt what this saintly priest did for the Christians of Kerala about a century and a half ago, Fr. Sngi has done and continues to do for his fellow Christians in the Khasi Hills. The celebrant thanked God for using him as an instrument in bringing many people to the church and in spreading the word of God.

Fr. Sngi has to date published thirty books, several of them about a thousand pages in length. Most of them are Bible commentaries. This particular ministry of his is currently in full flow. There is no sign at all that he is slowing down. In fact, his day begins at 3 am and much of it is spent at his computer. He has asked God for enough time to complete his projected 90 volume Bible commentary. We join him in his prayer and indications are God is listening.

The celebrations concluded with a fraternal meal, remarkably tasty and the fruit of much work . Fr. Sngi and the participants expressed their thanks to Frs. George Maliekal and Thomas Pampady, rector and administrator respectively of the theologate, for celebrating so specially this very special birthday.    
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