Myanmar Cardinal Charles Bo, the Apostolic Administrator of Myitkyina Diocese, led the diaconate ordination during the Chrism Mass on April 2.
In his homily, the Cardinal recalled the message of Pope Francis, urging that priests be shepherds with the smell of the sheep, grounded in the situation of their flock.
All priests serving in Myitkyina Diocese and four new candidates for diaconate ordination attended the chrism Mass at St. Columban’s Cathedral, Awng Nan, Myitkyina.
Priests should not go to the field to apply theories without considering the context in which they will be working or the people entrusted to their care. The authority of a priest is based, not on his power, but on his services to the people, the cardinal said.
Pope Francis, on June 7, 2021, met with a group of French priests pursuing higher ecclesiastical (church-related) studies in Rome, said, “I wish you to be shepherds with the smell of the sheep,” repeating the analogy he used in his homily at the Chrism Mass on March 28, 2013, a fortnight after pope’s election.
Cardinal urged priests in Myanmar to build a Church that is entirely at the service of a world that is more fraternal and solidarity. They [priests] should not be afraid to dare, to risk, and to go forward. With Christ, they can be apostles of joy and be grateful for serving their brothers and sisters and the Church.
“Priestly joy is the source of your action as missionaries of your time,” he said.
“Pastors should not be people working in offices full time on the table, but must be capable of living and of helping with your people, in a word and action on the field communicating with them, he added, “A priest has to be a pastor amid God’s people because God has chosen him for that.”
After his homily, Cardinal Bo led the diaconate ordinations of Deacons Andrew Labang Lawt Naw of Alam Parish, John N-Pawp Byin Tu Awng of Edin Parish, Joseph Soe Yan Awng, and Clement Kyaw Htay Oo of Mogok parish under Lashio Diocese.
The last two deacons are transitioned from Lashio Diocese to Myitkyina Diocese as soon as they finished their theology.
Then, Cardinal Bo continued the Chrism Mass together with Bishop Francis Daw Tang (emeritus), the former diocesan bishop of Myitkyina, and 55 priests at St. Columban’s Cathedral.
(With inputs from Patrick Gawmaw Hkawng Yae)
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.