A diocese in southwestern Myanmar released a pastoral letter calling on priests, nuns, and Catholics to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life on April 21.
Father Henry Eikhlein, the Diocesan Administrator of Pathein, in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar, thanked God for blessing so many children who received the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021.
“It is God’s grace because we could have the opportunities of administering the Sacrament of Confirmation this year, although we could not do it for the last two years due to many difficulties and crises in the country,” he said.
The children who received confirmation were over two thousand in number in the Diocese of Pathein this year.
“Those children were born at the beginning of the 21st century. They are digital natives who will become the future youth and elders of the twenty-first century,” said the Diocesan Administrator.
Father Eikhlein continued, “I firmly believe that from among those children, the future religious leaders such as bishops, priests, men and women religious, and catechists will emerge for the Diocese of Pathein and its future.”
The Diocesan Administrator urged all priests, nuns, and catechists, who are preparing children for the Sacrament of Confirmation “to encourage, guide and pray for them to priestly and religious vocations.”
Currently, there is only one candidate in the Minor Seminary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Diocese this year, according to Father Raphael Htun Nay Khaing, a seminary educator.
Father Khaing said, “Due to health and political crises in the country in 2020 and 2021, the seminary lacks seminarians.”
“The voice of secular popularity is louder than Jesus’. The call of Jesus is not heard by young people today,” commented Sister Patricia May Oo Khaing, a formator of Novices of Xavierian Sisters.
It is good to promote priestly and religious vocations,” she added.
The Diocese of Pathein is composed of 36 parishes and three zones called Pathein, Myaungmya, and Hinthada.
There are over 60,000 Catholics with 80 priests, and 85 nuns working in the Diocese of Pathein. - With reports from Jimmy Saw Ei Taw
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