A large number of Catholics from Burma who are living in Melbourne have celebrated the presence of the Catholic Church in Burma for five hundred years. This day of celebration was held at the Salesian College in Sunbury on Sunday 25th January.
The day began with talks on the history of the arrival of the Catholic missionaries in Burma, the contributions of the missionaries, and their education. These sessions were led by Fr Raphael Klein of Hoppers Crossing who is the Chaplain of the Burmese Community, a Burmese seminarian who is studying at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne, and Fr Will Matthews the rector of the Salesian College Sunbury.
Some catechism classes and Q&A were held in the afternoon in Burmese and English languages. The second rite of reconciliation and individual confessions were provided in the afternoon by three priests.
The Eucharist in honour of the 500th Jubilee was celebrated in the evening by Fr Will Matthews, Fr Raphael Klein and Fr Joe Caddy. During the homily Fr Will encouraged the faithful to thank and pray for all the missionaries who sacrificed their lives for the Good News in Burma, and invited them to continue witnessing Jesus in their lives here in Australia.
A special noodle soup, kyar-zan-hinn, was provided to all participants in the evening by Maryoe Ei and by Rosa Mi Nyo families.
The day concluded with a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
It was a special day for the Catholics living in Melbourne. Some even came down from Waga Waga in NSW.
A shared lunch in the afternoon was also a highlight of the day where all dishes were shared and enjoyed by all participants.
Currently, a Mass in Burmese is held at St Peter’s Church in Hoppers Crossing on each second Sunday of the month at 12:00 PM.