Sisters of St. Joseph of Apparition celebrated their 175 years in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 26. Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay led the thanksgiving jubilee mass.
“Even today, it is not easy for missionaries to come to Myanmar. I can't imagine what that person will be like in Myanmar (in those days) with almost no electricity and difficulties procuring food supplies. Notwithstanding the challenges, the nuns came to bring Christ to the people for their salvation, even to the point of their life,” said Archbishop Marco Tin Win.
The Sisters of St. Joseph (SJA) of Apparition were the first missionary nuns who arrived in Burma. The congregation was ready to live out their motto: Devotedness unto death.
It is a providential meeting of two missionaries in Malta. On October 8, 1845, Emily, the mother superior, was in Malta who met another missionary priest working in Burma (Myanmar).
Father Bruno, a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Virgin Mary (OMV), desperately needed the help of nuns for his missionary work. He returned from Italy to Myanmar for medical treatment and met with Mother foundress Emilie De Vialar in Malta. And the nuns were sent on a mission to a distant land.
On June 17, 1847, the nuns of St. Joseph arrived at Mawlamyine. Our founder, mother Emilie, sent six sisters of St. Joseph to Burma.
A small group of nuns operated an orphanage, educating children and young women in boarding schools and establishing a care home for the elderly.
Presently, there are 40 communities of nuns in Myanmar, with most communities in Mandalay Diocese.
Sister Marie Therese Phe Ling Yah, the provincial superior of Myanmar province, expressed gratitude to the nuns for their dedication to the mission land.
With inputs from Sister Lucia Thandar Aung, SJA
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.