It is with sadness and grief that we annonce that our close friend and supporter, the Most Reverend Dominic Jala, SDB Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong died in a tragic road accident in Colusa County, California, USA on 10th October 2019. Born on 12th July 1951 in Mawlai, Shillong, (Meghalaya, North East India) and ordained as Bishop on 2nd April 2000, Reverend Jala was loved and respected by all for his inclusive attitude, his humility, his academic and linguistic achievements and his love for his indigenous communities and landscapes.
For my family, we have lost a very close and dear friend. When he was a student in Rome in the early 1980s, he would often visit us and share a Khasi meal. He would also join us in our outings outside Rome with our children. He would tell us stories of how the German congregations in many towns of Germany would be surprised when he preached in perfect German. Over the years, whenever he visited Rome for his work for the Vatican’s Liturgy Commission, he would always call us for a quick coffee or an evening meal together with other Khasi priests in Rome.
In Shillong, he became a great supporter of our work in NESFAS, the Slow Food movement and the importance of our social and moral responsibility to make our world a better and more peaceful place for everyone. He was instrumental in helping NESFAS to make the Social Service Centre (SSC) an important partner of NESFAS. Like the Sikh community of Shillong which invited all the international delegates to the Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 gathering to a special dinner with their members, he also hosted a very enjoyable evening for all ITM 2015 delegates at the ground of the Mary Help of Christians, Cathedral. He was an inspiration to all and we will remember our common pledge: unity within diversity.
May his Soul Rest in Peace.
-Phrang Roy, Chair Person, NESFAS