Catholic diocese of Pathien held its first meeting on January 26 at St. Peter's Cathedral compound of Pathein Diocese.
Father Henry Eikhlein, the diocesan administrator, presented the humanitarian crises faced in Myanmar.
"How will the Catholic Church of Myanmar respond to the humanitarian crisis, especially food shortage crises, in 2022? The Catholic Church needs to show its leadership and role in rendering humanitarian assistance during these crises. For this reason, we call for this meeting to form the Diocesan Emergency Response Team 2022, said Father Eikhlein.
"The goal of this Diocesan Emergency Response Team is to keep the diocese proactive and responsive in any emergencies," said the diocesan administrator.
The priest enumerated the objectives of the response team.
"Our diocese needs to have a well-equipped and updated mechanism by ensuring timely and effective responses in any emergency. These responses will also be well documented and shared."
Myanmar Catholic Church is composed of 400 parishes under 16 dioceses. "The job of responding to humanitarian crises is not just that of KMSS, Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (Caritas Myanmar) but that of all diocesan commissions combined together," said Father Eikhlein.
All those in charge of diocesan commissions, priests, and religious participated in the meeting.
"This meeting will not be in vain. There will emerge good results. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, combining all our efforts, talents and capacities, we will be able to work and render humanitarian and spiritual assistance in any crises," said Msgr. Wilfred Myint Soe in his concluding remark.
Catholic diocese of Pathein is situated in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. With its population of about 6 million, this delta region is prone to natural disasters.
"We don't know what will happen in 2022. The diocese needs to be well prepared," the priest said.
The Diocese of Pathein, officially created in 1954, is composed of 36 parishes. There are over 100 priests, about 200 religious men and women, and 124 catechists among 60,000 Catholic faithful.
With inputs from Father Jimmy Ei Taw
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