The city of Agartala witnessed an overwhelming manifestation of faith in Christ on Saturday when hordes of faithful thronged its streets and took part in the Diocese level Eucharistic Procession. Eucharistic procession means the ‘Holy Eucharist’ the piece of Bread which the Catholics believe is the true body of Jesus, is reverently carried in procession and adoration.
The Annual Procession, predominantly a spiritual event, is aimed at deepening faith and bearing witness to Christ. It is also arguably the largest gathering of its believers in the diocese in any given year. The procession, started six years ago and organized meticulously since then by the Catholic Lay people of Tripura under the aegis of All India Catholic Union, has been improving in organizational aspects and ambience with each passing year.
This year’s edition, which had the scripture quotation, “I am the Bread of life” for its theme, brought together over six thousand church members from all parishes of the Diocese. It began at the Vivekananda Stadium in the city with a preaching and healing session in the morning. Preaching of God’s Word in Bangla, English and Kokborok interspersed with scripture readings in various languages, preceded the healing session that Fr. CR Paul CSC led.
The procession route this year included some of the most important junctions and streets of the capital city. As those walking in procession sang lustily praises of the Lord, large groups of onlookers stood on either side of the road and watched with great curiosity and admiration. The congregation, consisting of the young and the old, from an array of tribes and communities, and dressed mostly in traditional attire, transformed the bustling streets of Agartala town into a riot of colour and pageantry. For the onlookers of a town that routinely keeps witnessing processions and rallies with a political hue, the Eucharistic procession and its prayerful ambience proved to be a surprise. The Blessed Sacrament was most reverently placed in a beautifully decorated float and flanked by children dressed as angels.
While addressing the gathering at the end of the Procession, Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro CSC, DD, Bishop of Agartala Diocese urged the Catholic faithful of Tripura to make daily prayer and reading of the Scriptures a custom in every family in the Diocese. Bishop Monteiro, who spoke in English, Bangla and Kokborok also emphasized on the need to foster unity in the diocese, a gift for which Christ himself prayed.
Mr. Paul S. Darlong, the Sate Secretary of All India Catholic Union (AICU) who oversaw the arrangements of the Procession proposed the vote of thanks.