Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala blesses the Jesuit residence in Jamtalibari on July 31. (Photo supplied)
Jesuits in India have opened their first residence in the northeastern state of Tripura.
“We welcome them to our diocese and wish them our prayers and support as they enter into new ministries. They will be engaged in social, pastoral and education fields in the diocese,” Bishop Monteiro told UCA News.
In 2018, two Jesuit missionaries, Babu Paul and James Morias, came to Jamtalibari from the southern state of Kerala.
“As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the conversion of St. Ignatius, it is an important occasion for Jesuits to refocus on their life and mission,” said Father Irudaya Jyothi, who was part of a Right to Food campaign in West Bengal state before he joined the mission in Tripura.
“The Arrupe Inn is dedicated in a special way to the implementation of the universal apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus.”
Christians are mostly found among the Tripuri, Lushai, Kuki, Darlong and Halam indigenous communities
The 2018 missionaries pitched their tent in a village close to the mission station assigned to them at Jamtalibari. This mission station bifurcated from St. Paul’s Catholic Church, one of the oldest parishes in Tripura.
After a few months, the Jesuits made a tin shed, which was later handed over to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy to become their convent and dispensary, Father Jyothi said.
The Jesuits collaborate with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy and the Daughters of Vincent de Paul in Tripura.
Sanjith Halam, a local youth, said the Jesuits’ new residence would “change the face of the nearby villages in the years to come.”
According to historian David Syiemlieh, Jesuits were present in Tripura in the 17th century.
Christians account for 4.35 percent of the state’s population of 3.7 million. Christians are mostly found among the Tripuri, Lushai, Kuki, Darlong and Halam indigenous communities.
Agartala Diocese covers the entire state of Tripura.