Gratitude day 2019 with Educating communities

The Gratitude day with educating communities on the 18th of May 2019 in Teuk Thla, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

“Dig In The Treasure Within … Share!” - Youth Camp 2019

The Salesian Sisters held a Youth Camp on May 17-18, 2019 at Don Bosco School-Teuk Thla. Around 225 young participated.

Our Goal: Guide the young to begin to live a life of discerning one’s Purpose in life through a discovery of the beauty within.

Specific Objectives:
Bring the young towards a greater clarity of one’s purpose in life through the following:
· To listen to God’s voice in the silence of one’s heart.
· To discern one’s personal purpose in the world.
· To live it in “the today” that God gives.

Sharing of experience by Sun Sitha, studying in grade 11A at Don Bosco High School – Teuk Thla
It was on 17 and 18 of May 2019, I participated in the youth camp at school. First I did not know what the camp was about or how it looks like. I wondered so many things about the camp. So I decided to sign up with some of my classmates to get more knowledge about it. It was my first time and extremely amazing experiences that I have never had before. I just spent only 10000 riels. But I got so many experiences by learning new things from sisters. I appreciate the slogan “Dig in the Treasure within … Share” which was the main topic of the camp. Sisters described and explained to us about the talent we have. Sisters said, ‘everyone has talent, but sometimes we simply ignore our talent because it seems an ordinary thing to us. We have talents, and it is there, even if we haven't realized what it is. We may have been using it for years, it may be completely untouched. Just we need to work hard to find because it is there, hidden deep in our souls trying each and every second to shine out to the world. After the camp, I got to know who I am and what my talent was. I also knew a lot of people from Don Bosco Toul Kork, Battambang, and Teuk-Thla. I talked to strangers (young people like me) spent time together, dancing like dancers on the stage. It was the best time ever. I also had breakfast, lunch, dinner with them like a big family. And prayed before dinner and had lots of self-reflection and sharing and then we became peers.
Finally, I'd like to say thanks to sisters for organizing the camp at our school. Thanks for reading.

Perpetual Profession in Myanmar

 The first group of retreatants of the CMY Province had its Annual Retreat in Anisakan from the 3rd until the 10th of May 2019. The Retreat Preacher was Fr. Ceferino Ledesma (SDB) who guided the Sisters on Evangelical Radicalism of the Consecrated life and a life centered on Christ. The Consecrated person, being a witness of Christ, is called to awaken the world in this contemporary society. The retreat concluded with the Renewal of Profession of four Sisters.

The following day, on the 12th the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Margaret Hkawn Ra and Sr. Christina Ma was held at Our Lady Shrine in Nazareth, Anisakan with Cardinal Charles Bo presiding the Holy Mass and concelebrated by Bishop Peter Hla (Bishop of Pekhon Diocese), Fr. Saw Charles (Salesian Provincial of Myanmar) and other priests. The Sisters were deeply honored and grateful for their presence in this great occasion. The whole assembly raised their voices in thanking the Lord for the generous YES of the two sisters and their parents who joyfully give their daughters to the Institute and to the Church. We continue to pray that they may always abide in His love as expressed by the motto they have chosen: “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” (Jn 15, 5)

As the FMA communities celebrated the Solemnity of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello last 13th of May, the Sisters thanked the Lord for their wonderful and great saint, Mother Mazzarello. It was also an important day of witnessing the generous and courageous dedication of our two new Sisters, Sr. Catherine Hau Bawi and Sr. Teresa Ja Bawk who made their first profession at St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello Community Chapel, Anisakan. The Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Saw Charles, the Salesian Provincial of Myanmar. We accompany them with our prayers as these two young Sisters began their journey in the Salesian Consecrated Life.

25 Years of Living Don Bosco’s Dream in Myanmar

Celebration of the 25th ANNIVERSARY of the re-opening of the FMA presence in Myanmar
23 February 2019

The festivities for the 25th anniversary of the re-opening of the FMA presence in Myanmar began at 8.30 in the morning with the inauguration of the exhibit which was opened with the cutting of ribbon in the presence of Archbishop Nicholas Mang Thang, Sr. Phyllis Neves General Councillor representing Mother Yvonne Reugoat and Sr. Jessica Salvaña, CMY Provincial. The exhibit presents the history of the presence of the FMA in Myanmar. It is then followed by the celebration of the Eucharist as a sign of praise and gratitude to God for the marvelous things He has realized in the FMA communities in these past years, thanks to His providential care.

Guests of honor such as Sr. Phyllis Neves, Visiting Councillor for CMY Province, the  missionaries who worked in Myanmar during its difficult times: Sr. Lina Chiandotto (Italian), Sr. Giovanna Penello (Italian) and Sr. Gertrudes Ditching (Filipino), the ex-Provincial of Myanmar, Sr. Annie Thevarkunnel from India, Provincial Council and Animators of Cambodia. The Archbishop of Mandalay Mons. Nicholas Mang Thang presided the Holy Mass together with Fr. Charles Saw Thin Han Lwin (Provincial Delegate of the Salesian in Myanmar) a good number of Salesians and other priests coming from different Dioceses were united in the celebration of the Eucharist.

During his homily Archbishop Nicholas expressed his appreciation for what the FMA have done in the field of education in Myanmar. He has underscored all the work that the Sisters were able to carry out  and continue to do for the good of the young especially those who are disadvantaged in Myanmar with lasting and good results. In the celebration of the Eucharist some of the Sisters friends and benefactors coming from abroad (Japan and Singapore) and within Myanmar, three FMA Sisters from Thailand, Past Pupils and parents of the Sisters and religious from other Congregations in Myanmar and the educating communities of the different FMA presences in Myanmar joined the Myanmar Sisters in order to celebrate this joyful event.

The Eucharist celebration concluded with the wishes of Fr. Charles Saw who recounted the experience of Sr. Mary Myint in its beginnings of the re-opening of the FMA presence. Sr. Jessica Salvaña, Provincial, from her part expressed her words of gratitude to those who participated in the event.

The feast was continued with a well-prepared program which is a brief presentation, in the style of short dialogue interspersed with dances and choreographed songs, on the history of the presence and mission of the FMA in Myanmar starting from their arrival in 1961 until today. At the heart of the program was the arrival of the first Sisters and Salesian priests in Myanmar.

The program was a fruit of the preparations of the different educating communities of the 5 houses. 

In the beginning of the program Sr. Jessica handed over the jubilee plaques to the local authorities, religious, benefactors, supporters and friends of the Sisters who in one way or another have sustained the FMAs educative mission in Myanmar in these 25 years.
Within the program Sr. Phyllis Neves addressed her message to the assembly expressing also the greetings of Mother Yvonne Reungoat on this blessed occasion. Moreover, she has taken as a point of reflection in her message what our benefactors from ACTS Singapore have expressed regarding the joy of being with and working with the FMA who are always welcoming and joyful.

The celebration ended with a sumptuous lunch lovingly prepared by the Sisters and their collaborators. It was truly a meaningful and beautiful feast where everyone enjoyed each others company and lived in a true climate of joy and spontaneity typical of the Salesian family spirit.

Special Gratitude Day in Myanmar

FMA communities in Myanmar celebrate Gratitude Day
 in solidarity with the Internally Displaced Families in Kutkai & Muse’
This year’s celebration of Gratitude Day in Myanmar assumes a different tone. On the 12th of January 2019 some members of the Educating Community composed of 7 Sisters, 1 Lay collaborator, 1 pre-aspirant and two young girls of the FMA communities visit the refugee camp in Kutkai. This visit is part of the Provincial Gratitude Day in Myanmar which is aimed at celebrating it in a more meaningful and significant way. It is realized as an opportunity to share the experience of God’s providential care and love to our presences in the Province with our suffering brothers and sisters who are displaced because of the on-going civil war in Kachin State.
Through the help and collaboration of Fr. Luigi, Director of KMSS (Karuna Myanmar Social Service) of Lashio Diocese and Fr. Tino, Procurator of Lashio Diocese, the group is able to connect with the 46 IDP’s in Kutkai and Muse’ and is hosted at the Bishop’s residence. Fr. John Gam Seng (SDB) and another 2 laymen accompanied the group to Kutkai for the distribution of the goods.
Though Kutkai is relatively far from the FMA communities in Pyin Oo Lwin, this small town in the Shan State of eastern central Myanmar is chosen to be the heart of our gratitude day celebration. It is about 964 km from Yangon and 398.6 km. from Pyin Oo Lwin. It takes around 9 hours by bus from Anisakan, Pyin Oo Lwin to reach the place since the transport has to crossed several mountains. Kutkai is a place near Muse’ which is bordering China. It is indeed a periphery that is worth the attention of any group who wants to bring help to those who are in need. There are 28 displaced families (135 people) in the camp which is inside the compound of the Catholic Church. The families are Catholics from the Kachin and Shan tribe. The head catechist, Saya Naung Latt who is assisting the families, recounts that because of the fighting between the Burmese army and the tribes’ army , many people flee from their own villages and find a place for their temporary shelter in the town of Kutkai. It is far from their village called Naung Phan which is about 15 km away from Kutkai. It has been 6 years that the families are staying in the camp through the help and care of the Civil Society Groups and local authorities. The KMSS charity group of Lashio and the other NGO also provide support for their essential needs of housing, health care and education. But, it is too little and cannot get enough for their living. There are a big number of women and children staying in the camp. The adults try to search for any work that they can find in order to provide especially for the children and elderly. Finding themselves in such situation, the children cannot study well and therefore discontinue their studies and engage in work earning a minimal wage. In March the families will be relocated to Gale Zup Aung, 14 km away from KutKai where, hopefully, they can start to rebuild their lives.
It is touching to see the eyes of the families: children, young people, elderly and adults beaming with joy as they meet and endlessly thank the group for the little items they receive out of the kindness of many people.
Indeed, God’s magnanimity and generosity are overwhelming that one cannot contain it for oneself. The solidarity with the 46 IDP families from Kutkai and Muse’ of the Diocese of Lashio is the Salesian Sisters’ concrete gesture of recognizing and thanking the Lord for His immense goodness to His people.  The visit would not have been possible without the help of our Singaporean friends from Project Kyrie who quickly responded to the Sisters’ invitation to extend help to the IDPs.

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