Diocese of Nongstoin
  • share this post
  • resize textlarger | smaller

In a land area of 5, 247 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers entire West Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya state. Nongstoin is the biggest town in the diocese.

Population

313,723 is the total population in the diocesan territory. Khasi, Garo, Lyngngam, Atong are the major ethnic groups.

Language

Khas and Garo are the languages used in the area.

History

The real success and growth of the Catholic Church in West Khasi Hills is solely attributed to the zealous missionaries who dedicated and sacrificed their lives for the Gospel. Some of whom need special mention. The seed of Christianity fell in fertile soil sometimes in 1907, where under the capable supervision and direction of the saintly Father Otto Hopfenmuller SDS, Myntri Langduh Shangdiar and his son Raimondus Rai Khardewsaw found grace in the personal animation of Father Valentinus Karffe SDS and were baptized on Jan. 24, 1907 at Rangthong by the Officiating pastor Father Dominicu Dounderer SDS. The seed blossomed and bear fruit. Raimondus Rai later became the first teacher and Catechist of Rangblang. Undoubtedly, Rangblang became the first stronghold of Catholicism in the Western zone of Khasi Hills.

The colossal contribution of spreading the Gospel of Christ in West Khasi Hills, which dominated the Catholic Arena, was none other than the beloved Father Constantine Vendrame SDB from 1922 onwards. His foot-steps were followed by his followers Father Tome, Foglia, C. Attard, Carmelo Spitale and later Fathers Felix Matta, Costa, Albizuri, Toniguzzo and Vanni Desideri and many others.

Fifty six years ago, the nearest Mission station was Marbisu Parish, 76 kilometers away from Nongstoin. The faithful, Catechists and devotees traveled on foot to fulfill their obligations to the Mission station bare-footed for 4 days forth and back. Father Carmel Attard SDB, the stern and fatherly Maltese missionary was there to receive them. Those were the days of trials but bear fruits that lasted till today.

From 1970 onwards, the sacrifice and untiring endeavour of the missionaries boosted the Mission filed in West Khasi Hills (at that time under Assam). The Shillong Diocese felt it necessary to extend the pastoral institutions to the western zone of the diocese. Thus the Parish of St. Peter the Apostle was established on May 12, 1966 at Pyndengrei, Nongstoiñ with Father Emmanuel Albizuri SDB as the first Parish Priest (RIP-Spaniard) and Father John Mary Premoli SDB (an Italian) now in Africa as assistant Parish Priest. These two "bulldozer missionaries" travelled far and wide on foot covering the present 10 parishes and make it possible for the present Diocese to come into existence.

The Diocese of Nongstoi0241 was created by Pope Benedict XVI on Jan. 28, 2006. The Apostolic Nuncio to India, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, has ordained Bishop Victor Lyngdoh on April 2, 2006 and installed him as the first Bishop of Nongstoiñ Diocese on April 4, 2006 amidst turbulent torrential cyclonic rain.

Political

Nongtstoin is managed by Municipality. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.

Transportation

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads. The nearest airport is in Guwahati city, which is 135 kilometers from Nongstoin.

Economy

Rupees 18, 274 (USD392.50 as of December 2009) is the per capita income in the diocese's territory. Farming especially Paddy cultivation is the biggest occupation, maize and millet are also grown. The main commercial crops grown in the district are potato, ginger, turmeric, oilseed, black pepper, arecanut and betel leaves.

Telecommunication

Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.

Education

65.10 per cent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

Salesians open new child rescue booth at Bangalore railway station

Salesians open new child rescue booth at Bangalore railway station BOSCO has been rescuing and rehabilitating street and runaway children since 1980 and has led to the rescue and rehabilitation of more than two lakh children and youths.