A Catholic priest who is the first priest among Lisu and Rawang ethnic groups celebrated his 25 years of priestly ordination on April 28.
Father Peter Ah Phung, the coordinator of the RVA LISU program, celebrated the occasion in Putao Parish which is under Myitkyina Diocese in Myanmar.
In Myanmar, Lisu is recognized as one of 135 ethnic groups and has an estimated population of 600,000. Lisu lives in the north of the country. The Rawang people are an ethnic group who inhabit far northern Kachin State of Myanmar. They speak the Rawang language.
Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, the president of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and apostolic Administrator of Myitkyina Diocese joined the celebration.
"When the parish priest decided to celebrate the event here in Putao, I was worried that it would be a burden for Catholics. Not only is the resident Catholic population few but also the existing road which is not so safe to travel to Putao," said Ah Phung.
Putao is more than 300 kilometers from Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State in Myanmar.
“Ah Phung is our first Lisu and Rawang priest. The majority of Putao Parish is also Lisu and Rawang ethnic people. Thus we want our beloved priest's silver jubilee to celebrate here," says Aung Myat, a catechist.
About 25 priests joined in the celebration.
Father John Laraw, Rector of Myitkyina Cathedral, preached the homily, emphasizing the Ah Phung's patience, exemplary behaviors, and contribution to pastoral ministry.
Over 200 people received the Sacrament of Confirmation on the occasion, administered by Cardinal Bo.
"This was my first time to Putao. Keeping their beau tradition, the residents show their love for me amazingly. Let’s try more for spreading the Gospel in Putao," said Cardinal Bo in the RVA Kachin video message.
Father Ah Phung thanked everybody for the prayer and wishes. - With inputs by RVA Lisu
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.