Archbishop Menamparampil new Apostolic Administrator of Jowai

His post-retirement assignment is seen as an initiative of the church to promote peace in northeast region. Archbishop Menamparampil is an outstanding champion for peace and communal harmony.

India
Feb 04 2014, 3:43 PM
Archbishop Menamparampil new Apostolic Administrator of Jowai
Archbishop Emeritus Thomas Menamparampil

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Emeritus Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Jowai on February 3. The diocese has been without a prelate since June 2011, when Bishop Vincent Kympat passed away.

Archbishop Menamparampil was born on October 22, 1936, at Pala in the southern state of Kerala. He was ordained Bishop of Dibrugarh in 1981 and was Bishop of Guwahati since it was erected as a diocese in 1992 and Archbishop since 1995 when it was made an Archdiocese. In January 2012, Archbishop Menamparampil had retired, on completing 75 years.

His post-retirement assignment is seen as an initiative of the church to promote peace in northeast region. Archbishop Menamparampil is an outstanding champion for peace and communal harmony.

As Archbishop he initiated peace between several warring tribes — Bodo-Adivasi in 1996, Kuki-Paite in 1998, Dimasa-Hmar in 2003, Karbi-Kuki in 2003, Dimasa-Karbi in 2004, Bodo-Muslim in 2010 and Rabha-Garo in 2011.

He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate from Universita’ Urbaniana in Rome last October for his outstanding contribution for promotion of cross cultural thought and promotion of peace in areas of ethnic conflict.

The retired Salesian Archbishop was featured on the cover page of September 2013 issue of “The Northeast WINDOW”, a magazine published from Dimapur in Nagaland state. The four page cover story documented the archbishop’s peace and reconciliation efforts in conflict ridden northeast India.

He was nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his initiatives to bring peace among ethnic communities of the northeast. The June 2011 issue of a popular Italian magazine ‘Il Bollettino Salesiano’ published a cover story on him entitled ‘A Bishop for Nobel Prize’. 

In 1998, he was awarded the Father Maschio Humanitarian Award instituted in honour of the pioneer Salesian missionary in India, Father Aurelius Maschio.

Jowai was made a diocese in 2006 from the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Shillong. The diocesan territory covers 3,819 square km and districts of Jowai, Khliehriat, Rymbai, Shangpung and Sutnga of Meghalaya state. Pnar, War, Garo, Nepalee and migrant biharis are the major ethnic groups in the diocese.

Source: Vatican Radio

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