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2018 Provincial Gratitude day in Cambodia
(in Don Bosco high school, Teuk Thla, on Mar. 18, 2018)

FMA presences in Myanmar celebrate Provincial Gratitude Day & Launching of 25 years of FMA Presence in Myanmar

On this 24th of February, 2018, the FMA Sisters of Myanmar celebrated in Nazareth Marian Shrine, Anisakan, their provincial gratitude day with the theme “Thank you for your listening heart” to express the gratitude and affection that unite them Sr. Jessica Salvaña, the Provincial and among the members of the educating communities in an atmosphere of prayer, simplicity and joy. The Sisters prepared for this feast with the Eucharistic adoration once a week, praying “Mary most powerful virgin” after the rosary and the nine days of intensive preparatory prayers to thank Sr. Jessica for her listening attitude which comes from a simple and welcoming heart, leading us to discern God’s loving will for each one of us.
The day began with thanksgiving morning prayer followed by the Eucharistic Celebration. Then a thanksgiving program was followed after which we took lunch together. There were around 300 members of educating communities, Anisakan parishioners and Servite Sisters who attended to this event to thank God for the gift of Sr. Jessica in the CMY Province. Fr. Ashley Miranda, SDB celebrated the Eucharist surrounded by other priests.
This year celebration of the feast of gratitude day becomes more significant as our Sisters launch the 25th anniversary of the presence of the FMA in Myanmar. The theme chosen for this event is “25 Years of Living Don Bosco’s Dream in Myanmar”. Don Bosco, our loving father was greatly attracted to the foreign missions in order to bring the light of the Gospel to those young people who don’t know Jesus. In 1839, the Oblates of Mary entered the Kingdoms of Ava and Pegu, that attracted the attention of Don Bosco. But his desire to go as a missionary to Myanmar was realized by his sons in 1939, when they landed at Yangon and took up the Lafon Memorial School at Mandalay.
In 1958 Fr. Fortunato Giacomin opened a small school for girls, which was entrusted to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians when they arrived on the 14 November, 1961. Against all odds, the Sisters were allowed to enter Myanmar. With great zeal they started working and after three years they began to put up a big three-storey school in ferroconcrete.
The year 1960-65 were years of dark cloud over the religious congregations and the Church of Myanmar. In 1962 the army headed by General Ne Win captured power and with him the Socialist Regime. In 1965, the new government confiscated everything that belonged to the Church, to the congregations and to the parish. In 1966, our first missionary Sisters,   Sr. Maria Dal Corso, Sr. Agnese Azzopardi, Sr. Maria Thottungal and Sr. Teresa Andreotti were expelled and our Auxilium School was confiscated by the government.
In 1989, Sr. Mary Khin Myint re-entered Myanmar and started living in the compound of the Salesian priests in Anisakan. After that Sr. Thecla Chit May and Sr. Filomena Ma Yee joined her in 1992. In 1994, the community of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello Anisakan was canonically erected.
Today, as the Sisters thank Sr. Jessica for her sisterly love and accompaniment, they launch the one year preparation for the 25 years of the Salesian Sisters’ presence here in Myanmar. Their hearts are filled with gratitude to God for His faithful presence and providence in these past years as they live out the dream of our loving founder for the poor young people and children of Myanmar: to make them happy in life and in eternity through integral education. Let us rejoice with them and let us pray together, that they may continue to spread the Gospel of Hope and Joy to everyone.

Family Day of Mornese Kindergarten

"Build the family, Build the society"...

Family Day of Mornese Kindergarten took place on the 17th of February in Anisakan, Myanmar, organized by the EC(Education Community) parents’ members. There were about 160 families and so about 250 adults and children participated. It was Day of sharing love, joy and hope.

Brief Visit of Sr. Phyllis Neves Visiting Mother

from Jan. 29, 2018 to Feb. 7, 2018 in CMY

Visit to the 5 communities in Myanmar

Visit to S. Maria D.Mazzarello community in Battambang

Blessing of Don Bosco School of Chreh in Phnom Penh

Encounter with all the sisters in Cambodia

Visit to Don Bosco School of Chreh in Phnom Penh

Visit to Maria Auxiliatirce Community in Phnom Penh

Visit to S. Giovanni Bosco Community in Phnom Penh

Salesian family day – Combodia

Annual Salesian Family Gathering at Teuk Thla
The 2nd annual gathering of the Salesian Family in Cambodia took place last 20th January 2018 at the Salesian Sisters’ school at Teuk Thla. It started with the Holy Mass presided by the Provincial Delegate, Fr. Roel Soto, and concelebrated by three other Salesians: Fr. Gerard Ravasco, Fr. Mark Yang and Fr. Charles Michael Arun.
As in the previous year, the main objective of the gathering was to have a common study and deepening on the Rector Major’s Strenna, which this year has the theme “Let us Cultivate the Art of Listening and of Accompaniment”. The Scriptural basis of the strenna was the Samaritan woman’s words to Jesus: "Sir, give me this water." (Jn. 4:15).
After the Eucharistic celebration, the 61 participants gathered in the Don Bosco High School Audio Visual room. After the Provincial, Sr. Jessica Salvaña’s words of welcome, Sr. Maria Elena Estacio, coordinator of the event and in charge of the FMA Salesian Family sector, welcomed a special participant from Thailand, Fr. Carlo Verlado an Italian missionary who had been working there for more than 40 years.  Each participant then introduced him/herself in a familiar and informal way. This moment alone showed the Salesian Family’s sense of humor and creativity.
Then came the main event of the day: Fr. “Gigi” Ravasco’s explanation and practical application of the strenna. With the help of video clips, Fr. Gigi simplified the Rector Major’s commentary and somehow enculturated it, giving emphasis to the three elements of discernment (recognizing, interpreting and making a choice) especially when helping young people in their vocational discernment and life itinerary.

After a short break for snacks and reflection, the group met again for sharing and some announcement of family news. The sharing and discussion was lively and revealed the diversity and also cohesion of insights among SDBs, FMAs, Salesian Cooperators, past pupils and lay collaborators. Even Fr. Verlado, who has worked as director of their skills development center for the blind in Bangkok, shared on his apostolic experiences with visually-impaired youth.
This year, it was heart-warming to see the first Cambodian Volunteer of Don Bosco (VDB) among the participants. A member of the Sister-Servants of the Immaculate Heart, Sr. Kanlaya Chatbanyong, missionary from Thailand, also represented their congregation. A representative of the Don Bosco Past Pupils’ Association, Mr. Pang Poty, announced a forthcoming gathering of SDB alumni to which they invited the Sisters’ past pupils to join.
The meeting ended with the presentation of a video on the 25th Anniversary of the FMAs in Cambodia and this was followed by a hearty lunch where sharings and friendly discussions continued. Indeed, the spirit of Don Bosco was very much alive that morning!

-       Sr. Malen Estacio, FMA

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