Meghalaya witnessed one of the rarest happenings as thousands of well-wishers including faithfuls of the Catholic Church lined up on the streets on Sunday night to pay respect to Archbishop Dominic Jala when his mortal remains arrived from California, USA.
During the time of the mortal remains entering Meghalaya from Assam, the Shillong-Guwahati highway was filled with mourners on both sides of the road.
They held candle lights in their hands and sang hymns and prayers for the departed soul of the Catholic Church leader.
It was one of the rarest and memorable happenings in the history of Meghalaya and the Catholic Church that such tributes were paid to an Archbishop cutting across religions and communities.
Most parents also brought along their children to the streets to pay their last respect.
After reaching Mawlai, the home town of the Archbishop, on both sides of the road, a distance of about 5 km was filled with people who waited for more than two hours to have a glimpse of the mortal remains and pay their last respect.
People stood on the road at a junction of Mawlai bypass which continued till St. Dominic Savio Church, Mawlai Parish where the body was brought for celebrating the Holy Mass.
The Holy Mass was attend by tens of thousands of people and it got over at around 1 am.
After the Mass, the mortal remains were taken to the Archbishop’s parental home at Mawlai Phudmuri for a night.
On Monday morning, the body will be taken to the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Laitumkhrah, where the Archbishop’s House is also located.
The funeral will take place on Wednesday at 1 pm.
The body will be laid to rest in a grave close to the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, not inside the Cathedral.
The Archbishop died in a car accident at Colusa County Oakland in California, USA on October 10 at around 2.20 pm (October 11 morning in India).
The body reached New Delhi on Sunday morning and from there it was taken to Guwahati.
The Shillong MP, Vincent H Pala, accompanied the body from USA and the Rajya Sabha MP, KJ Alphons joined from New Delhi to Shillong in accompanying the mortal remains.
Chief minister Conrad K Sangma and other ministers and MLAs also accompanied the body from Guwahati Airport to Shillong.