10 Years of Franciscan presence in Myanmar

On 29 October 2016, the Foundation of St Francis of Assisi in Myanmar marked its 10th foundation anniversary with the Eucharistic Celebration presided by the Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry. Present during the celebration were Br. Greg Redoblado, the Definitor General for Asia and Oceania and Delegate General of the Foundations of Thailand and Myanmar, Br. Ignatius Lam, Provincial Minister of St. Francis of Assisi in Vietnam, Br. John Nguyen Gia Thin, (former member of the Myanmar Foundation) and Br. Arvind Kerketta, from the Foundation of Our Lady of the Angels in Thailand. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) sisters and the SFO’s of Myanmar were also present, Members of the Jesuits, the La Salle brothers, Dominican sisters, Canossians, the Faithful Companions of Jesus and many others also came to join the celebration. A festive lunch followed and a cultural show in the evening was performed by the friars and the FMM sisters.

In his homily, commenting on the Gospel for the day about the need for the grain of wheat to die in order to grow and bear fruit (Jn 12, 24-27), the Minister General invited the friars to continue to die to self in order to be fruitful and to “see” Jesus and encounter him more closely in the lives of the people they work with. The General thanked the Church of Myanmar through Cardinal Charles Bo for inviting us and allowing us to establish the Franciscan presence there.

Basil Heo, OFM, the current President of the Foundation also thanked the Minister General for his presence. He also thanked in a very special way the FMM sisters who have been accompanying the friars since the beginning of the Foundation. The OFM Foundation began in 2005 with Br. Jaime Yakit, OFM, from the Philippines, as the first President of the Foundation. To date, the Foundation had already been blessed with one local solemnly professed friar, five temporary professed friars, one novice and five aspirants.