HISTORY

The Beginnings:

1922 – The state of Assam (the present NE India with its seven states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura) was entrusted to the Salesians of Don Bosco. The first band of Salesian missionaries, led by Fr. Louis Mathias reached Shilllong on January 1922. The Catholic population of NE India at that time was less than 5000.

Growth and Development

1926 – The first province of Salesian India – the province of Calcutta with Fr. Louis Mathias as the first provincial – is canonically erected.

1932 – The diocese of Shillong (for the entire NE India) is established with Msgr. Louis Mathias as its first Bishop, while Msgr. Stephen Ferrando is appointed as the bishop of Krishnagar.

1935 – Msgr. Stephen Ferrando is appointed as the second bishop of Shillong on the transfer of Msgr. Louis Mathias to Madras-Mylapore

1951 – Fr. Orestes Marengo is ordained as the first bishop of the second diocese of NE India, Dibrugarh, which is carved out from the diocese of Shillong

1959 – The Province of Guwahati for Northeast India is erected with Fr. Antnony Alessi as its first provincial.

1964 – Msgr. Orestes Marengo of Dibrugarh is transferred to Tezpur, bifurcated from the diocese of Shillong, as its first bishop. Fr. Hubert D’Rosario is appointed as the second bishop of Dibrugarh.

1969 – Shillong is raised to the status of a Metropolitan See. Msgr. Stephen Ferrando retires. Msgr. Hubert D’Rosario, bishop of Dibrugarh, is transferred to Shillong as its first Archbishop. Msgr. Robert Kerketta is nominated as the third bishop of Dibrugarh.

1973 – Msgr. Orestes Marengo is appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the new diocese Tura, bifurcated from the Shillong Archidocese. Its first bishop will be Msgr. George Mamalassery, a diocesan priest, ordained as bishop in 1979.

1973 – Fr. Abraham Alangimattathil is ordained as the first bishop of the new diocese of Kohima-Imphal, a region formerly under Dibrugarh.

1981 – Fr. Thomas Menamparampil is ordained as the fourth Bishop of Dibrugarh

1982 – The Province of Guwahati is divided to form a new province of Dimapur with Nagaland, Manipur, Upper Assam and Arunachal forming its territory. Fr. Mathew Pulingathil is its first provincial.

1984 – Fr. Mathai Kochuparambil is ordained as the first bishop of the new diocese Diphu, bifurcated from the diocese of Shillong.

1990 – Msgr. Tarcisius Resto is appointed as the auxiliary bishop of Shillong.

1992 – Msgr. Thomas Menamparampil sdb is appointed as the first bishop of the new diocese of Guwahati, carved out from the diocese of Shillong, Tezpur and Tura. He is appointed as its first Archbishop in 1995. Fr. Joseph Aind is ordained as the fifth bishop of Dibrugarh.

1995 – Msgr. Tarcisius Resto takes over as the second Archbishop of Shillong

2000 – Fr. Dominic Jala is ordained as the third Archbishop of Shillong

2002 – Eighty years since the arrival of the Salesians in Northeast India. Through the hard work of the pioneering missionaries and their followers, the Church in the region has witnessed an unprecedented growth. From a prefecture apostolic in 1922, there are now three Archdioceses, and 8 dioceses. The congregation has given to the Church in Northeast India 10 bishops.

2009 – Golden Jubilee Year of the Missionary province of Guwahati. The Rector Major of the Salesians, Rev. Fr. Pascual V. Chavez visits the province and participates in the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

2011 – The province is divided in to two. The province of Silchar is born out of the Guwahati province.