To the pride and joy of the Catholic community and the A’chik people as a whole from all over Garo Hills, Selesian Fr Januarius S Sangma has become the first from among the Garo Catholics to be appointed as the Selesian Provincial of the Selesian Congregation.
Fr Januarius S Sangma was born on February 16, 1965 to Late Lucia Sangma and George N Marak at Mohoripara locality near RC Road in Tura. Third among his siblings, he had two elder sisters, Barnadette Sangma and Marcellina Sangma, both of whom are Catholic sisters. Upon coming of age, Fr Januarius was baptized by Late Fr Julius Costa SDB.
In the year 1980, Fr Januarius joined a school at Mawlai, Shillong in Class VIII. It was from this same school that he passed his Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination in the 1st Division in 1983. He passed his HSSLC examination also in the 1st Division in 1985.
On May 24, 1986, he went to Dimapur in Nagaland to pursue his Bachelor’s degree (BA) with Honours in English and Philosophy and completed the course in 1989. From there, he went on to pursue a course in MSW at Sacred Heart College Tirupattin Madras University in 1993, which he completed in the 1st Division in 1996.
In December 28, 1997, he was ordained as a priest at Tura Don Bosco Playground by then Retired Rev, George Mamalassary DD, where he took oath to work for the Church as a member of the selesian congregation.
He worked as a Headmaster cum Assistant Parish Priest at Don Bosco High School, Kokrajhar from the year 1997 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003, he was the Vice Principal of St Anthony’s High School in Shillong. Fr Januarius also held the post of Warden Administrator and Lecturer at St Anthony’s College, Shillong. He held a prominent position at Don Bosco School, Tura in 2005 and a year later as Rector at Bosco Mount, Rongkhon near Tura. He was also the Vice Principal of Don Bosco College Tura in 2007. He was then promoted to the post of Principal cum Rector in 2008 and continued in the same post till 2015.
His last posting was as the Vice Provincial of Guwahati Province from 2015 to 2018 and on May 23 this year, he became the first ever Garo to be appointed as the Provincial of the Salesian Congregation.