Second Catholic priest brings joy to Naga village
Phek: A village in Nagaland rejoiced at the ordination of its second Catholic priest.
Bishop James Thoppil of Kohima ordained Fr Vekupa Rhakho George at St. Mary School Ground in Lozaphuhu, Phek, on December 28.
Dressed in traditional dress, Fr. George was led to the altar by the village elders in traditional Chakhesang attire.
After the Gospel reading the new priest’s parents prayed over him and removed the traditional attire symbolizing him being set apart for God’s work.
Fr. Carolus Neisalhou, vicar general, presented the candidate for ordination. Then followed the homily by the bishop, who thanked the parents and relatives of Fr. George for offering him to the service of God in the Church.
“Jesus invites people to share in his ministerial priesthood, not because of the innate merit of the person, rather because of God’s love for him. God empowers one who is called,” the bishop stated, according to a press release from the Bishop’s secretary, Fr. Thomas Toretkiu.
The prelate urged the congregation to pray for the new priest daily so that he discerns God’s plan for him and in his ministry. “Correct him gently when you find him straying away; boost his spirit when he feel low; appreciate him when he is doing well, encourage him when he feels discouraged for priesthood is a great treasure given in vessels of clay,” the bishop added.
The new priest, born on September 30, 1985, is the fourth of five boys and two girls. As a child he wanted to join the army, but gradually decided to become a priest.
He began joined St. Xavier Seminary Jalukie (High School) in 2000. He did his theological studies from Papal Seminary, Pune, western India.