Good Shepherd Parish in Jongksha, India, celebrated its Golden Jubilee on December 18, 2022, with about 15,000 people attending the Eucharistic celebration and the activities that followed. For the occasion, the new parish church, built with the financial contributions and labor of the parishioners, was inaugurated and blessed by the Most Rev. Victor Lyngdoh, DD, Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese.
Other Church and Congregation leaders present were the Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Agartala, Fr. Simon Fernandes, C.S.C., Superior of the Province of Northeast India, and Fr. Roque D’Costa, Superior of the Province of South India. They joined other priests, religious women and men, parishioners, and civic officials from the government of Meghalaya in the celebration.
Good Shepherd Parish in Jongksha was bifurcated from the Cathedral Parish, Laitumkhrah, in Shillong, in 1972. Initially administered by the Salesians of Don Bosco, the parish was handed over to Holy Cross in 1976. Fr. Issac Kelamparambil, C.S.C., was appointed as the first Pastor, and Fr. Joseph Kuzhikkat, C.S.C., was the Assistant.
In 1985, the Good Shepherd Parish itself was bifurcated and gave birth to Holy Cross Parish, Mawkynrew, which is also administered by Holy Cross.
Over the past 50 years, Good Shepherd Parish has grown to a population of 14,618 Catholics from 1,804 families spread across 21 villages. The parish runs 23 schools up to 5th grade and seven schools up to 8th grade. It also runs two secondary schools and one senior secondary school, effectively catering to about 3,700 students. Fr. Valerian Serrao, C.S.C., serves as the parish priest today.
“The preparation for the jubilee began 10 years ago focusing on the faith aspect of the people and organizing various renewal programs towards the same,” said Fr. Serrao. "Construction of the new parish church was an important project as we moved towards the Golden Jubilee year. The newly built church stands as a symbol of the faith of the people as well as their unity and hard work."