Myanmar - Growth of fraternity: today among Salesians, tomorrow nation-wide?

28 November 2017

(ANS - Yangon) – Since yesterday, 27 November, Pope Francis has been in Myanmar, a periphery of the Church – with the country's Catholic community representing circa 1% of the population - but one that has great expectations of peace and reconciliation to which the Pontiff's visit one hopes may, indeed, contribute. In the Salesian world, Myanmar has also been the focus of attention in recent times, one that has already produced important results.

After 50 years of painful isolation from the global Salesian community, in just over a year, Myanmar's Vice Province "Mary Help of Christians" has seen six members of the General Council, including the Rector Major, visiting.

After the Extraordinary Visit of Fr Václav Klement, Councilor for the Asia East-Oceania region, in August 2016, and the historic visit of Don Bosco's successor, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to Anisakan in October 2016, others have visited the country in the last four months: Fr Guillermo Basañes (Missions), Fr Fabio Attard (Youth Ministry), Fr Ivo Coelho (Formation) and Fr Filiberto González (Social Communication).

Some Salesians of the Vice Province shared their feelings and impressions by recalling the extraordinary gift of receiving "so many superiors" from Rome and emphasized the value such events offered, namely the opportunities to: personally meet and speak to the global leaders of the Salesian Congregation; gain a much broader vision of the Salesian world; experience the proximity of the Congregation itself; see implemented, in person, what one has read about in Salesian documents and manuals; understand how each Salesian is, in fact, the message personified one needs to communicate to young people ...

More than any other factor, the important result of such close meetings has been the strong impetus it has given to the feeling of increased communion and fraternity: "We are slowly rebuilding the spirit of family among us, progressing in the transformation and culture of community among us," commented the Burmese Salesians. "Listening to each other is the first thing we have received from the Councilors. And even Don Bosco's friends around our Salesian homes, lay people who collaborate with us, are experiencing a slow, but clear transformation."

The hope is that, similarly, the visit of Pope Francis may have the same effect, over time, on the entire society of Burma.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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