The Diocese of Miao in remote northeast India last week remembered and prayed for an Indian missionary priest abducted by unknown gunmen in Yemen and whose whereabouts are still unknown.
Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao, in Arunachal Pradesh, gathered his priests around him on Thursday, April 6, to celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Christ the Light Shrine cathedral and prayed for Salesian priest Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil. The native of Kerala state belonging to Bangalore Salesian Province was kidnapped on March 4, 2016 after gunmen attacked a home for the sick and elderly of the Missionaries of Charity in Aden, in southern Yemen. In the assault four nuns of Mother Teresa and 12 other people present in the facility were massacred.
Bishops gather their priests of the diocese on Holy Thursday to celebrate the Chrism Mass in commemoration of the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist by Jesus at the Last Supper, during which the holy oils used in the various sacraments are blessed. Bishop Pallipparambil celebrates the Chrism Mass a week earlier, to give time to his priests to return to their respective parishes and mission stations, most of which are in remote and difficult areas, to be able to celebrate the Holy Week liturgies with their faithful.
In the context of being faithful to the Lord always and having the courage to follow in the footsteps of Christ, the Salesian bishop and his priests gathered at the Christ the Light Cathedral of Miao for the Chrism Mass on April 6 and prayed for the release and safety of Fr. Tom. Before renewing their priestly promises, Bishop Pallipparambil congratulated his priests on the day of the priesthood and exhorted them to be priests after the heart of Jesus. "If you really want to know what kind of Priests Jesus is, look at the Cross", he said. Using the analogy of Pope Francis, he asked the priests to have the ‘smell of the sheep’. The Diocese of Miao continues to pray for Fr. Tom and for the safety of the Christians across the world and for peace.