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Franciscan Sisters mark 125 years of existence in Myanmar

Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay Archdiocese offers the gift to FMM Sister Superior General, Sister Lucia Ling Hing Pai (Photo by RVA Myanmar)

Sisters of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) marked their 125 years of existence in Myanmar, on January 20.

Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay Archdiocese presided over the Jubilee Mass at 10 AM in St. John’s Church, Mandalay, Myanmar.

FMM sisters from all over Myanmar participated in the celebration.

They celebrated the Jubilee Mass to honor the missionary Bishops, priests, nuns and nurses who served God with great missionary spirit.

Group Photo of FMM Sisters at St. John's Church, Mandalay (Photo by RVA Myanmar)

125 years ago, at the request of Father Wehinger, the six pioneer FMM sisters arrived in Mandalay on January 19, 1898, to serve and look after lepers in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Father John Wehinger (MEP) was taking care of St. John’s Church, the then-lepers’ asylum.

Even on the next day of their arrival, the FMM sisters started their work immediately.

There were over 200 Lepers. Though they had a language barrier and other hardships, they carried out their work happily, taking Jesus as their example.

Before 1966, more than 1400 lepers were living in that leper asylum.

Then, while working fervently, the day to leave Myanmar happened in 1966, when all 27 foreign sisters were ordered to return to their native country by the civil authorities.

The FMM sisters left the Leper asylum on September 22, 1966.

FMM sisters served God in St. John’s Church for 68 years, 8 months and 3 days by doing missionary work.

The congregation that started with 6 sisters in Myanmar has bloomed into 185 native sisters now.

Among them, 27 nuns are serving abroad. There are 22 communities with 132 sisters who have had perpetual vow, 26 sisters of the temporary vow, 6 Aspirants and 4 postulants.

Sister Lucia Ling Hing Pai (FMM) is the present Superior General of Myanmar, FMM congregation.

FMM Convent at Chan Thar Village

FMM sisters had just celebrated the centenary Jubilee of the arrival of the FMM in Chan Thar village not long ago; That 100-year-old convent was set on fire and destroyed by Myanmar military group on January 15.

The FMM sisters are serving God’s people with the vision; “to heal our wounded world together, rooting in God’s love by living dutifully with humanity among different cultures and traditions.”

Currently, FMM sisters are looking after AIDS/HIV patients, running nurseries, and clinics, participating in charity work groups, educating, and teaching catechism at IDPs camp (internally displaced people).

They are serving the poor by providing homes for orphans, opening boarding houses, taking care of the borders, and counselling and rehabilitation for moral support.

News by Pinky Thiri Kyaw and Marcus Nyi Nyi Htun

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.