The Diocese of Loikaw joyously celebrated the great activities of the year from November 22nd to 24th. The great activities were the 25th Silver Jubilee of Cetaman, the 70th Birthday anniversary of H.E. Bp. Sotero Phamo, the 4th Episcopal Anniversary of H. E. Auxiliary Bp. Stephen Tjephe and the deaconate Ordination of five Seminarians and priestly Ordination of five Deacons on the Feast of Christ the King. The five ordained priests are from Loikaw Diocese natively and now they belong to the religious Congregation of Domenicans.
INTER NOS –No. 39/2013
Loikaw Diocese News
August 16, 2013
Dear Fathers, Sisters, brothers and collaborators in Loikaw Diocese,
Greeting of joy, peace and health in the Lord!
It’s already six months since I wrote to you by Inter Nos. No.38 in February. Since there are many things happened in the diocese, some joyful and some sorrowful events. We are happy and proud to have the ordination of the first Jesuit in Myanmar after a long dream.
As I already informed you in our last tri-monthly retreat we will have our annual retreat on 23th September 2013. I choose Monday to start so that we can end on Saturday and avail ourselves for Masses in nearby parishes. Those who choose to go to Yangon for the opening of the new building while there may be an opportunities for short ongoing formation too.
As the national celebration of 500th anniversary of arrival of Catholicism would be in 16-18 November 2014 in Yangon, we intend to shift the celebration of Silver Jubilee of our Loikaw diocese in summer April 26-27, 2014 although it will be rather warm. The Jubilee theme will be, “Thank God for his inexpressible gifts” 2 Cor 9;15. At least we will not need warm blankets and school buildings will be more available. This means we have no much time for preparation. Remember it is the feast of all the diocese and we have to try to participate actively for preparation as well celebration. This is the year of jubilee, a year to thank, praise the Lord for the graces received and even to ask pardon for our weakness in our poor spiritual life and our pastoral services. All priests, religious and lay people especially from Loikaw diocese are invited and expected to come back to participate as well as to contribute to the success of Jubilee.
I am glad to inform also that the causes of Fr. Mario Vergara and lay catechist Isidoro has been approved unanimously by the committees. That means they will be soon declared at least Blessed. We are soon to bless the new Church in Shadaw which could be dedicated to them timely. Soon a prayer sheet will be composed to be recited by all for quick success of their cause and strength to follow their example. We hope their blood shed because hatred for faith will bear fruits especially for our diocese and more for Kayah people.
Wish all happiness and zeal in the Lord’s vineyard,
Bishop Sotero Phamo
1. Visit by Division Commander: August 16, 2013
The Eastern Division Commander Bogyoke Soe Htut paid a visit to the Diocesan Center and donated 30 bags of rice to the Zeal boarding House. Bishop S. Phamo met the visitors and thanked them for their gift which is an immense help for the boarding house. This year 14 out of 28 could pass the matriculation. Now we have a new group of 60 student boys and girls who like to try their luck for another year. Because of the problem of space we could not accept more.
2. International Pastoral Tour; July 15, 2013
Bishop S. Tjephe paid a visit to Kayah Catholics living in Finland and Sweden accompanied by Fr. F. Soe Naing. They are back now in Rome and bishop will arrive to Yangon on August 18 while Fr. Soe Naing will be back to Myanmar in September first week.
3. VIP Visit: Diocesan Pastoral Center (21. 6. 2013)
Bohmugyoke Aung Ye Htut, Union Minister Aung Min accompanied by other Union Ministers and local authorities came to Diocesan Center and met Bishop S. Phamo. They briefly spoke about the recent successful meeting with KNPP and gave presents to Bishop.
4. Conference; June 4-13, 2013
Bishops and Archbishops from all the dioceses and archdioceses of Myanmar gathered for their bi-annual conference. Some of the decisions taken by the conference are hereby share to all.
a. Fr. Jerome Thari is appointed to be professor of Missiology in Major Seminary in Yangon.
b. Fr. Paul Pipi is reconfirmed to be Rector of Seminary in Pyin Oo Lwin for second term.
c. Fr. Mark Tin Win completes his term of Secretary in CBCM and he is to be replaced by Fr. Morris Nyunt Wei from Pathein diocese.
d. The National Catholic Youth Congress VII will be in Lashio.
e. There will be 500th year Anniversary celebration in Yangon in the month of November 16-18, 2014.
f. To have a five days course on “Growing in our Relationship” for the clergy.
g. The new building for Bishops’ Conference in CBCM complex has been completed and blessed.
5. Meeting In Korea; May 22-25, 2013
Bp. S. Phamo went to Korea with Archbishop Matthias and Bishop John Hsane Hyi to participate in Focolare bishops friends meeting. There were 40 bishops from Asian countries gathering to pray, share and stay together in Focolare spirit. It was like a small retreat but spirit of union and fellowship was evident. There was lot of brotherly sharing of experiences, problems and joys as pastors from each bishop.
6. ZETAMAN Formation Renewal Course And Mission Sending (May 19, 2013)
The 27th training course was opened to 21 new Zetaman candidates on April 8, 2013 at Zetaman center, Loikaw. Opening ceremony was attended and briefed by Bishop Sotero Phamo, two Religious Sisters and Fr. Francis Mireh who is now in charge of the Zetamans. During the training course, four priests and a Sister shared on spirituality, the sacraments, morality and the Church.
After the course on May 19, 2013, the Zetamans were sent out to the mission in the morning solemn Mass presided by Bishop Stephen Tjephe accompanied by other nine priests, at Christ the King Cathedral, Loikaw. During the Mass, 85 Zetaman members renewed their vows and 21 new members received the mission crosses while making their vows before the Bishop.
At the same time, in the celebration of the Mass, 42 children received the sacrament of confirmation.
7. Ordination: the first Jesuit in Myanmar; Loikaw (1. 5. 2013)
The diocese had joyfully celebrated the priestly ordination of Deacon Joseph Sureh, Deacon Patrick Boreh and Deacon Wilbert Mireh, SJ. They were were ordained by H. E. Auxiliary Bp. S. Tjephe. About more than two thousands Faithful packed in the Cathedral in the present of hundred Diocesan priests from Loikaw and Pekkon diocese with Jesuit Regional Superior Rev. Fr. Mark Raper and many other Jesuit priests and seminarians from Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The occasion was graced by the presence of H. E. Auxiliary Bp. B. Athai of Taunggyi Archdiocese and the local Ordinary H. E. Bp. S. Phamo who joined in the Eucharistic celebration.
Rev. Fr. J. Sureh is from Dotipo village, Donoku Parish but his present domicile is Tanauuqwe. Rev. Fr. P. Boreh is from Htitare quarter, Phruso Parish and he received his theology training in Hong Kong.
Rev. Fr. W. Mireh, SJ is from Naung Yah (A) quarter, Loikaw Parish and we are happy and proud to be the first to have a world famous Jesuit Priest in Myanmar after a cherish dream of 500 years! So far Loikaw diocese has religious priests in the congregations of Missionary of Faith, La Sallatte, and Dominicans. We are also expecting to have future priests from Claretians and Augustinian communities. We have sufficient priests and we should be ready to contribute to universal Church. Besides we needs well trained and educated priests to be one day able to contribute more to the local Church.
8. The following postings was announced soon after the Ordination
1. Rev. Fr. Joseph Sureh – Assistant priest of Ghekaw parish
2. Rev. Fr. Patrick Bawreh – Assistant priest of Rodokho parish
3. Rev. Fr. Fabian Adone – Assistant priest of Loilemlay parish
4. Rev. Fr. Cyrilo Khun Je – to help Dovero parish
5. Rev. Fr. Peter Rui – Assistant priest of Khabe parish
6. Rev. Fr. Mattias Ba Sein – to help Dotacha parish (temporarily)
7. Rev. Fr. Matteo Boi – Spiritual director of St. Paul’s Catechistate
8. Rev. Fr. Paul Maphroi – Assistant priest of Dounganrao parish
9. Rev. Fr. Benedict Than Kyu Ba – to station at Pastoral center and in charge of
10. Rev. Fr. Pius Thant Zin – Parish priest of Dounganrao parish
11. Rev. Fr. Benedict Tireh – to station at Shadaw and take care of the
newly resettle villages in the area
12. Rev. Fr. Rocco Madui – Assistant of Minsu and chaplain of the
13. Rev. Fr. Bosco Nanri, MF – Parish Priest of Ywathit
14. Rev. Fr. Christino Ne Ne, MF – Assistant Priest of Donoku Parish
15. Rev. Fr. Robert Tin Aung, MF – In charge of St. Peter’s formation house
16. Rev. Fr. Basilio Koreh, MF – Assistant Priest of Mailon Parish
9. Pastoral Tour: Yusomoso Parish (12-15. 4. 2013)
Yusomoso Parish has four villages and Rev. Fr. Lawrensio Khuri is the Parish Priest with Rev. Fr. R. Gnieri to help. All the four villages Yusomoso, Kwengan (new and old) and Sondula were happy to welcome H. E. Bp. Stephen Tjephe. In all four villages 313 children received the Confirmation.
10. Priestly Silver Jubilee: Loikaw (27. 3. 2013)
During the Holy Week and tri–monthly retreat of the priests there was Chrism Mass and renewal of priestly vows. At the same time the priestly silver anniversary was celebrated for Rev. Fr. Abraham Angi, Fr. Saw Abel and Rev. Fr. Terrence Tun Sein. After celebration of Chrism Mass, Bishop S. Phamo blessed the Jubilee monument followed by lunch for all priests and religious.
11. Pastoral Tour: Tanaukwe Parish (19-22. 3. 2013)
Tanaukwe Parish has four villages and Rev. Fr. Benedetto Beni is the Parish Priest. H. E. Bp. Stephen Tjephe was welcome with joy by all the four villages, Khoblo, Oukhuri, Kaphu or 4 Mile, and Tanaukwe. In all four villages 217 children received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
12. Our New Pope; March 2013
As we all know in March 19 we had a new pope who was previously Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina. He is an extraordinarily ordinary man, first Jesuit Pope, first Latin American Pope, and the first to take the name Francis. Within 24 hour he has refused golden cross, declined to wear a limo, paid his own hotel bill, he asked bishops to leave palaces and go to live in suburbs, asked for the blessing from the faithful. He is shunning all the paraphernalia that the highest seat of the Catholic Church leadership accumulated over centuries. In other word he is turning what were traditionally held as non negotiable essentials into indispensable non essentials. In the first month of his papacy Pope Francis defined his policy in simplicity, approachability, continuity and fidelity to Magisterium of his predecessors, tenderness and service. Let us have faith in what Holy Spirit is doing right in our midst, creating something new. Let us open ourselves to see the newness. Let us rally around our universal and spiritual leader to create a new Church and a new world. Let us hope. Let us have faith. Viva Papa, Francesco!
13. Golden Jubilee of Saya Paul; Doungnankha March 18
Very few Catechists work for long. Due to poor material or moral support many easily drop out. They are tempted to work for more income and decent living. It is therefore rare that they last even 25 years to celebrate silver jubilee as catechists. This year we are very happy to announce the Golden Jubilee of Saya Khau Paul of Doungankha. He has been working faithfully continuously from Khabe to Doungankha as catechist and is now still with clear and loud voice.
On March 18 he celebrates his golden Jubilee in the presence of Bishop S. Phamo and over 12 priests. Doungankha, Solyaku, Khabe rejoice with him together with his villagers from Hwason.
Bp. S. Phamo presided and preach at the thanksgiving Jubilee Mass at the same time it coincided with his 41 priestly anniversary. All the 200 catechists of the diocese completed their course and joined the celebration as an ideal example and encouragement for them to follow. Saya Paul is now succeeded by a new catechist due to his age and weakening voice. We all thank him for his long service in the mission field.
14. Catechistate: Doungankha (9. 3. 2013)
The Director of Catechistate in Doungankha Fr. P. Htainaw presented Six candidates for Catechists whom completed three years of their studies; they are Domeniko (Sondu), Mikele Paku (Datada) , Abraham (Kayan Thaya), Mary (Nanattaw), Luiza Mi Mi (Loilemlay) and Magdalena Bu Myar Oo (Dimoso). H. E. Bp. Stephen Tjephe and fourteen priests concelebrated the Holy Mass which presented certificates to these six new catechists. The parish priests should give personal attention to their practical training for some years before posting them to villages.
15. Jubilee Cross: Kayan Thaya Parish (8. 3. 2013)
The celebration started with the reading of the history of the Cross. Afterward, H. E. Bp. Stephen Tjephe blessed the 25th Silver Jubilee Cross and three Daughters of Mary lighted twenty five candles. Then, the Bishop and five priests concelebrated the 25th Silver Jubilee Mass with six hundred Faithful.
16. Padodu: Dotada Parish (24. 2. 2013)
About a thousand and five hundred Faithful welcomed H. E. Bp. S. Tjephe to the 50th Golden Jubilee of Padodu Village. The Bishop opened the celebration and blessed the Jubilee Monument and Marian Shrine followed by procession. The next morning, the Bishop and seventeen priests concelebrated the Thanksgiving Jubilee Mass.
17. New Year: Doungankha Parish (1. 1. 2013)
H. E. Bp. Stephen Tjephe and seven priests concelebrated the New Year Thanksgiving Mass at Mary Queen of Peace Church, Doungankha. Soon after the Mass Rev. Fr. Petru Pii led the opening ceremony of a newly built clinic which was blessed by H. E. Bp. S. Tjephe. Rev. Fr. Philips Aung Nge thanked the many donors who contributed to the construction of this clinic.
18. News in Brief
§ Fr. Matthias Bassein in temporary in Diocesan Center working on music for Jubilee while in charge of Kayah Thaya.
§ Fr. Theodoro is on sick leave for 3 months on physician advise.
§ Fr. M. Shareh is in Yangon to prepare for US papers.
§ Seminarian Daniel from (Kayan Thaya) studying in USA is expected back in May 2014
19. Coming Events
§ Our priestly Annual Retreat will be on 23 to 27 September 2013
§ The new community of St. Joseph’s sisters will be soon established in Dounganrao.
§ Loikaw Cetaman Silver Jubilee, Ordination of Dominicans, One Jesuit, First Communion on Solemnity of Christ the King, the Diocesan Day on November 24, 2013
§ There will be blessing of the new churches in Shadaw on 3rd December 2013,
§ Chapels to be blessed in Kayan Thaya, Loitamu, Yenikan, Kyakhu. Dates will be announced later.
§ Jubilee of Fr. Saw Abel in Mochi on Nov. 19, 2013
§ Community of Sisters of Missionary of Faith is planning to be established in Rodokho pending the completion of the buildings of their convent.
§ After ordination of 5 Dominicans we plan to establish Nwalawo as a Parish which will include villages taken from Nannattaw parish.
(1) Mother Giovanna Justina (84) (Reparation), passed away on 17 April 2013.
(2) Beloved father of Rev. Fr. Charles Boromeo, U Paulu thaoi (89) passed away on 30 May 2013.
(3) Beloved father of Rev. Fr. Damiano Soe (MF), U Joseph (62 ) passed away on 20 July 2013.
(4) Fr. Anthony Crowe of Toungoo, Fr. E. Po Paing (YGN), Fr. Peter Khun Za Htang (MKA), Fr. John Maung Nee (MDY), Fr. Louis Soe Lwin (MDY) and Bro. Anthony passed away lately.
Symbol of Jubilee of Loikaw Diocese
“Thank God for his inexpressible gifts” 2 Cor 9;15
There was a gathering of priests of Loikaw Diocese at Diocesan Pastoral Center on the 9th in July to have a half day recollection together. Two Bishops and about seventy priests were present and Rev. Fr. Terrence Tun Sein was the main preacher of the recollection. The topic of Sermon was “Meditation and the Divine Office.”