Bishop of Myanmar's Pathein diocese leads food distribution to poor

Nant Khan Khan, a volunteer, distributes bags of rice to villagers.

Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of the Diocese of Pathein in Myanmar led the distribution of bags of rice and oil  in poor communities that are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The prelate was able to buy the food items he distributed from donations through his online preaching and reflection on daily Gospel readings.

In one of his online Gospel reflections, the bishop narrated the story of how one evening he visited a family and asked them what the had for dinner.

“We had nothing to cook,” the family replied. So he gave them five thousand Kyats, about US$5 for dinner.

A Myanmar national in Malaysia heard about the story and donated about US$1,000.

When bishop started distributing food and other relief goods, more people sent more donations.

Nant Khan Khan, a young volunteer who went with the bishop around the villages, said he was thankful for the opportunity to distribute the goods and to hear "voices of prayers and their words of thanks.”

“I am very grateful to the donors and Bishop John, and please tell them that I offer foods to the Lord Buddha with prayer intentions for them” said a Buddhist woman.

Father Felix Soe Win, Parish priest of Pathein, and Father Peter Saw Ngwe, the bishop’s secretary, led the volunteers in distributing the relief goods to the poor.

The initial batch of bags of rice and oil were distributed to at least 1,446 poor people in the villages of Myaugnmya, Latbuta, and Pathein townships.