The Korean foundation of Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of Suwon (SCV) got two Myanmar nuns on February 6.
Sister Maria Grace Kyaw Myar and Sister Maria Josephine Cherry Than Htike both from Loikaw Diocese, Myanmar, professed in the Congregation of SCV at St. Peter and St. Paul in Nant Thar Gone Quarter in Insein Township of Yangon Archdiocese.
Auxiliary Bishop Noel Saw Naw Aye of Yangon Archdiocese presided over the Mass in which the profession took place.
Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay Diocese and Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Archdiocese of Mandalay in Myanmar were present on the occasion.
“Not only the first profession but the perpetual profession is my prayer and best wish for the two sisters,” said Bishop Noel.
In his homily, Bishop Noel said that vocation is mysterious. He reminded the sisters and all those present on the occasion that to love one another is the Command of the Lord Jesus and not merely advice.
The bishop reminded them that much focus on following the rules and regulations can make us forget to love the Lord.
“All of us are to love the Lord,” he insisted.
The bishop recalled the story about how Mother Teresa answered the repeated question of why her members are being faithful and enthusiastic in the congregation. And every time she gave the answer that she gave them Jesus.
“To love Jesus is the very first thing to be in the congregation. We know that it is He who is calling us,” said the prelate.
The bishop continued with the words of Jesus, “One thing you lack. Sell everything you have and give to the poor and come follow me.”
The prelate thanked the two sisters who made their first profession as they accepted the call of the Lord.
Sister Maria Josephine noted that the Mission of their congregation is medical assistance to the workers in factories in the Yangon vicinity, those unable to go to school, distributing food and clothes in the poor quarter, and visiting prisons.
She described many challenges for their congregation in the present situation in Myanmar. It is hard for the sisters to travel to the Yangon Archdiocese, Mawlamyine Diocese, Pyay Diocese, and Loikaw Diocese.
"Presently it is a very hard time and I feel that to serve the Lord as a religious sister among the poor means serving the Lord Himself and it is a way of keeping ourselves close to the Lord," said Sr. Josephine.
Sister Maria Grace is the 9th out of 10 siblings from a low-income family.
"Poverty is not a curse, but I see that it is a blessing. When I was young, I was willing to help the poor. I have pity and compassion for those who had to work very hard to earn their daily food," Sister Grace recalled.
The nun joined the congregation because she understood that this congregation serves the poor, the sick, and those who lost their hope.
Sr. Grace asked for prayers and support for anyone affected by the current situation.
"My native place is warring, and I worry for the people's livelihood. Since I can't help, I pray more and give my suffering to them."
On March 25, 1841, Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was founded by Bishop Friedrich Klemens of the Diocese of Paderborn in Germany. On January 8, 1965, upon the request of Bishop Yun Kong Hee, the first Bishop of the Suwon Diocese in Korea, the Paderborn community sent three missionary sisters to Suwon, Korea.
This was the beginning of Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of Suwon.
After 40 years in Korea, the congregation extended its Mission to Myanmar in 2006, and it has already been 17 years since it has existed in Myanmar. Over 200 members of the community are present in Korea, Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Philippines, and the United States.
Up to the present, there are 14 Myanmar Sisters in the congregation. - By Hubert Saw
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