As a Catholic priest, I joined the blessing of the new Marian grotto held in the parish of Kyait Latt in the Diocese of Pathein on May 8.
The event took place at 4 in the afternoon at the parish center, Magyigone village in the township of Kangyidaung, Ayeyarwaddy Region.
There were three events held as one—the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, the blessing of the new Marian grotto, and the 50th wedding anniversary.
About 30 minutes after lunch, it rained heavily. It came to my thought that the rain was not on our side. Luckily, there was no heavy rain around 2 in the afternoon, but slight showers only.
With a young boy Bo Bo Aung, the RVA Pwo in-service staff, I started leaving for the event at 2:30 in the afternoon from the Diocesan Center in the City of Pathein. We departed by motorcycle from Pathein a bit earlier so that we might get much time to interview some of the Catholics for a news story.
However, along the way to Magyigone village, we were caught in heavy rain until we reached the parish center. Consequently, we got wet. And we could not interview anyone as it was planned due to the rain.
The rain continued showering until the Mass started. Although the Mass was planned to be celebrated outside the church and in front of the new grotto, it could not be implemented due to the heavy rain. The Mass was held inside the church with many Catholics.
Despite the heavy rain, it could not dampen the spirit of participation of Catholics. They came from different parts of the parish with umbrellas while it was raining. They expressed their faith and perseverance by joining the events amidst the heavy rain. The rain could not dampen their spirit or eagerness to go to the church.
The parishioners participated in the events till the end. The event ended at 7 in the evening.
Dinner was offered to the participants.
After dinner, we returned to Pathein. On the way back, we slipped on the road twice by motorbike because the wet surface of the road which was covered with soil was very slippery.
We did not get any severe injury. Our light accident was nothing compared to the faith and perseverance of the participants in the events.
We arrived safely at 9 in the evening.
While lying on my bed, I reflected that it was the faith and perseverance of the Catholics that makes me surprised and increases my faith. Although there were environmental, political, and health crises, the parishioners expressed their spirit of participation through their actions regardless of the crises they face.
The new Marian grotto is named “Mary, Queen of Peace.”
My humble prayer to Mother of Jesus is: May Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for the parishioners of Kyait Latt so that they may be healthy, happy, prosperous, and faithful to the Church and God till the end of their lives. - Father Raymond Kyaw Aung / RVA Pwo Karen Service
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