Reaching Out in Goodness and Solidarity

With the growing concern of the economic implication of the COVID – 19 crisis, the Mary Our Help Province (Cambodia-Myanmar) took the challenge of attending to the needs of the poor families of our schoolchildren who are adversely affected by the crisis.  Due to the crisis, some factories, where a majority of our parents are working, have been closed. The closure has placed many poor families in a difficult situation. With the suspension of classes, the children (kindergarten and elementary pupils) who were provided with a free, nutritious lunch meal in school, have been deprived of this meal.
Moreover, in Yangon, Myanmar in particular, being the most populated city in Myanmar with the lockdown of the houses and factories, our neighbors and our contact people like trickshaw drivers (47) families and some families of 2008 Nargis Cyclone hit villages (Wartaya and Leikon) are very much affected for earning their daily wages. Finding themselves in such a difficult situation, with no work and no wage, families have no income to buy the basic necessities and food for daily sustenance.
Given this reality before us, the 9 FMA communities in Cambodia and Myanmar decided to take the initiative to help these families providing them with some basic food supplies to sustain them for some weeks during this challenging crisis.
Despite financial uncertainties, some of our generous friends and benefactors from Singapore, Hongkong, Germany and India willingly share whatever they can to the Salesian Sisters in Phnom Penh. Thus, enabling us to raise funds to procure food supplies for the neediest among the poor families. As soon as donations started pouring in, the Sisters of the Provincial House (Teuk Thla) committed themselves in preparing the food supplies made up of 10 kilos of rice, oil, canned fish, sugar, noodles, condensed milk which so far have reached more than 800 families (4000 individuals).

With the help coming from CHARIS (Singapore) the Sisters to reach out to 1900 families (9,500 individuals) in Cambodia and Myanmar providing them food supplies which could ease their hunger.

Other initiatives taken by two FMA communities in Myanmar (Production Centers in Yangon and Anisakan) are the production of masks and uniforms of healthworkers, especially the nurses who are attending to the people affected by COVID 19.

Blessing of the new building of St. John Bosco Community

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” (Ps. 127) was echoed in our joyful and grateful hearts as we have the blessing of the new building of St. John Bosco Community, Hlaing Thar Yar, Myanmar on the 6th of January 2020. Indeed, it was the Lord, who guided our generous donors to gift us with this building for the formation of young women and children in Hlaing Thar Yar. We were especially blessed by the presence of Don Carlo Travaglino and Don Giordano Piccinotti, SDB (Fondazione Opera Don Bosco nel Mondo) who helped us to realize our dream of forming more poor children, young people and families in a more safe and decent place.
The blessing ceremony began at 9:00 A.M. We are graced with the presence of Sr. Jessica Savaña, the animators and the representatives of the communities of Myanmar, Fr, William Matthews, SDB, Provincial of Australia - AUL, Fr. Bosco Zay Yar Aung, SDB, vice provincial of Myanmar Province, Fr. Michael Tuling, SDB, parish priest of Hlaing Thar Yar, Fr. Edward Sein Myint, SDB, Fr. Peter Louis, SDB and Fr. Leo Maung, SDB and other invited guests. After the blessing ceremony, there was the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Michael Tuling, SDB.
After the Eucharistic celebration, our kindergarten, after-school tuition and catechesis children performed some thank you dances and songs. At the end of the program, Sr. Jessica gifted the donors, the plaques of appreciation with the message of loving thanks to their kind support and help to provide conducive facilities, which will offer children  and young women a place where they can receive an integral education and formation. Don Carlo spoke to the children saying that his heart is full of joy because he was able to gift to the children of Hlaing Thar Yar, this great gift left by his parents and elder sister who are already in heaven. All were filled with deep gratitude and joy as we thanked the Lord for His continuous goodness and providence experienced in our daily life especially today with the blessing of our new house and center.
Our celebration was concluded with the sumptuous lunch prepared and catered by our students from Auxilium community, Yangon. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His love endures forever.” (Ps. 117)

New projects of Don Bosco school, Phum Chreh

Learning to read storybooks and newspapers

Trying to Keep not only their school clean but their VILLAGE clean. 

CMY Provincial Chapter

CMY Provincial Chapter...a journey towards synodality

From October 25 to 28, 2019 the CMY Provincial Chapter with the theme: “Communities generating life in the heart of contemporaneity” was held at the Provincial House of “St. John Bosco” Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The icon of the Wedding of Cana and the biblical verse: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2, 5) guided the work of 25 Sisters (13 from Cambodia and 11 from Myanmar and the Provincial Superior) called to take part in the Provincial Chapter.

The votive Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Mons. Bruno Cosme, MEP, new Apostolic Vicar of Kampong Cham, Cambodia gave a solemn start to the Chapter followed by the half day adoration and prayer in order to invoke the guidance and presence of the Holy Spirit during this very important event for the life of the Province. In the afternoon, Sr. Jessica Salvaña, Provincial Superior, presented the Report on the 2015 – 2019 journey of the Province.

A novelty of the Provincial Chapter is that of the presence, for the first time, of some lay people in the opening day of the Chapter (2 lay collaborators in person and 2 Video messages), and on the work on the first question (5 lay collaborators from our schools). Their presence and interventions were important and very much appreciated. They, in turn, expressed their gratitude for being given the chance to participate in the Chapter assembly.

The Provincial Chapter concluded with a celebration of thanks in the chapel where all the Sisters present in Cambodia participated and received a mandate from the Provincial Sr. Jessica Salvaña.

Each Sister received a message in the form of a commitment (“Bring the wine of charity/ your Educating Community) inserted in a small jar placed at the foot of the altar decorated with six big stonejars from which came out the water transformed into wine.

They were four intense and fruitful days and the delegates worked with commitment and  great desire for the good of the Province.

House Blessing of the Food Technology Center in 7 Mile, Yangon

The Salesian Sisters of Myanmar have all the reasons to thank and glorify God for the new building of Auxilium Community in 11- B/2 U Kyaw Hla Street, 7 Mile, Mayangon Township, Yangon. The building was blessed in the evening of 28th September, 2019 in the presence of Rev. Fr. Brian Lucas Joseph, the head of the Catholic Mission Australia who did the cutting of ribbon and blessed the marker and the new building. The building was reconstructed from May 2017 and despite the many trials and challenges, with God’s grace, the building was completed after two years.

His Eminence Cardinal Charles Bo, SDB arrived, together with some priests from Yangon Archbishop’s house, five Salesian priests, one Jesuit priest and some religious. The presence of the Cardinal and other guests marked the day more meaningful and fraternal. The animators of the other 4 FMA communities and some FMA were also present.

The girls from Mazzarello – Home and Food Management Training Center presented a beautiful, simple and meaningful Thank You program to those who were present especially to Rev. Fr. Brian Lucas Joseph, Mr. Lawrence Gigliotti,  Project Manager of Catholic Mission Australia, Cardinal Charles.
At the end of the girls’ presentation, Sr. Agatha Nant Myint Kyi the Directress of the Community and of the Course, gave a thanksgiving speech and explained about the “Home and Food Management skill one-year course” for the young women who are at risks, to all the guests. Afterwards, Fr. Brian Lucas also gave words of appreciation on the work of the FMA and his satisfaction on their collaboration. He also encouraged all the Sisters to continue to have passion and zeal for the good of the young and to all the young students to have dreams in life and aspire to learn both knowledge and skills for their life and for the future of the society.

A special Thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration was presided by His Eminence Cardinal Charles Bo, Rev. Fr. Brian Lucas and other ten priests.  Cardinal Charles Bo in his homily stressed not to be like the rich man who does not share his blessings to his neighbor, the beggar Lazarus and the needy ones. Instead, he invited those who were present to be like a good Samaritan who live with a compassionate heart towards others. At the end of Eucharistic Celebration, Sr. Lakana Yawasang, the Provincial Economer who represented the Provincial Sr. Jessica Salvaña gave a thanksgiving speech to those who have given support to the Salesian Sisters of Myanmar and handed a souvenir to the honorable guests. The blessing of the house was continued and followed by a special Thai dinner with European cuisine prepared by our chef master “William” with the collaboration of our Sisters and girls who prepared the dinner for 65 persons.

The evening was marked with the joy, melodious song and fragrant and sumptuous food. The Sisters of the community acknowledged the supportive presence and loving prayer of the Sisters in the Province and especially to Sr. Jessica Salvaña, the Provincial of Cambodia-Myanmar and Sr. Lakana Yawasang, the Provincial Economer who followed up patiently the completion of the building until the last nail.

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His love endures forever!”

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