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"Are you ready to welcome Christ," Bishop invites Khasi Catholics

Bangladeshi Bishop Shorot Francis Gomes of  Sylhet posed a question to the Catholic faithful about their readiness to welcome Christ, the King, in their lives.
The Khasis people of Bangladesh celebrated "Khasi Jingiaseng Proseshion" at Mary Immaculate Parish in Lokhipur, Kulaura. (Photo: Marcus Lamin).

Bangladeshi Bishop Shorot Francis Gomes of  Sylhet posed a question to the Catholic faithful about their readiness to welcome Christ, the King, in their lives.

"Are you ready to accept or welcome Christ the King in your heart?" said Bishop Shorot during a eucharistic celebration to mark the "Khasi Jingiaseng Proseshion" (Eucharistic Procession of Christ the King) at Mary Immaculate Parish in Lokhipur, Kulaura on November 21.

Bishop Shorot quoted the book of Daniel chapter 7, verse 14, that the Kingdom of Christ is everlasting, "that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed."

"That Christ is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords! He reigns eternally in the hearts of all who believes in Him. He wishes to establish his Kingdom in every human heart and abide there eternally," Bishop Shorot said.

Khasis of Bangladesh have been celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King for the last sixty years. Traditionally, the Khasi Catholics scattered in different Upazilas (small local government units) under the administrative division of Sylhet diocese gather together as a community of believers in one Punjee (Khasi village) to celebrate this solemnity.

Catholics regard Christ as their King and wish to oblige by the rules and examples set up by Christ the King in their day-to-day life.

"This year, we are celebrating this 60th religious festival. Every year we take turns celebrating the festival in different Khasi Punjee (villages). Still, last year we could not celebrate this religious festival because of Covid-19," stated Boniface Khonglah, Regional Director of Caritas Sylhet Region and Secretary of Bangladesh Khasi Catholic Rangbah-Balang Association.

"So we are grateful to Christ the King for being able to celebrate this year on a limited scale. We express our thanks and gratitude to our Almighty God for His blessing," Khonglah said.

Ms. Mickey Summer expressed that "this kind of Jingiaseng Proseshion is a big issue for our Khasi faithful.  In this religious festival ceremony, we all meet Khasis."

"Together, we have the opportunity to pray to Christ the King for the country, nation, society and family for peace of the world. Moreover, since all the Khasis are present here, it is a kind of union," said Ms. Summer.

The first-ever "Khasi Jingiaseng Proseshion" (Eucharistic Procession of Christ the King) took place at Meghatila Punjee under Kulaura Upazila of Moulvibazar district in 1977.

Khasi Rangbah-Balang Association, an association of prayer leaders among the Khasis, was established with the inspiration of Father Herman Doronila OMI and Sr. Mida RNDM in 1976. Since then, this solemnity of Christ the King became a major traditional feast for the Khasis in Bangladesh.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Solemnity of Christ the King was not celebrated in a grand manner. Instead, every parish celebrated this solemnity locally by strictly observing the health protocols prescribed by the Government of Bangladesh.

Over 2500 Catholic faithful from different Punjees joined in the Eucharistic celebration and Procession of Christ the King.

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