Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition (SJA) celebrated 175 years jubilee at St. Patrick Church, Mawlamyine, southern Myanmar on June 17, the feast day of the patron saint of the congregation.
The opening ceremony of the celebration began at 4:00 in the afternoon on June 16 in St. Patrick Parish Church, Mawlamyine.
A prayer service for the departed members of the congregation was done after the opening ceremony and their tombs were blessed.
The Jubilee Mass was offered on June 17 at 9:00 in the morning by Coadjutor Bishop Maurice Nyunt Wai of Mawlamyine together with Bishop Raymond Saw Po Ray and priests, Deacon and the members of SJA and Sisters of St. Francis Xavior and Catholics.
One golden jubilee celebrant and 3 silver jubilee celebrants were honored on the occasion as well.
In honor of the 175 Jubilee (Dodransbicentennial) of SJA, a song which bears the meaning “Let me be in the dream,” gives the message related to the life of St Joseph.
Bishop Maurice composed it and it was sung by the aspirants of the SJA during the entertainment in the afternoon of the day.
Mawlamyaine is the seaport city in southern Myanmar to which the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition congregation first began to set foot on June 17, 1847.
Although the 150 years of the Jubilee was celebrated very festively in the People’s Park, Yangon in 1997, the 175 years Jubilee is celebrated to a limited extent due to the Covid-19 and the political instability.
In 2022, the 175 Jubilee for the congregation and has already been celebrated in different locations in Myanmar such as Mandalay, Kalay Myo, Lashio, Waimaw in Myitkyina.
The celebration in Mawlamyine is the fifth celebration in the place where the congregation began to set foot. Before the end of the year, the celebration will be in Hahka, Myanmar again, according to the sisters of SJA.
“We thank the Lord for the graces during 175 years. Looking to the past, we can see the success and the weaknesses of the Congregation. There have been difficulties and happiness. It is also a time for us to regain the strength to keep on moving forward,” said Sister Julie, a member of the congregation.
“It is very tiresome but very pleasing to help and assist AIDS patients. It has been already more than 30 years that I have been serving these patients after the Word of Our Lord (Jesus) to help him by helping the weak and the least,” Sister Martha Paul, the Golden Jubilee celebrant.
She works together with different people of different faiths. They join her in working for the poor and the sick very actively in this Mawlamyine Diocese. She is happy to keep on serving the suffering, the nun said.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition was founded by St. Emile de Vialar who devoted herself to the care of children neglected by their parents and to the help of the poor. - Hubert Saw/Sgaw Karen Service
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