On Sunday 19th November, the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church in Sunshine, Victoria was filled to its capacity for a regular monthly Burmese Mass with a special focus on 13 children receiving various Sacraments for the first time in their lives.
Ten children were received into the Catholic Church while the other three received Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation. It was a blessed moment for the children as well as their parents and the Burmese Catholic Community in Melbourne. All thirteen children were born in Kareni refugee camps just inside the Thai-Burma border, and came to Australia in the last couple of years as new migrants.
Fr Will Matthews SDB was the principal celebrant who ministered the Sacraments to these new candidates during the Eucharist. He was also concelebrated by a visiting Chin priest from Burma, Fr Lucas Mang. Following the Eucharist, the parents of the candidates generously provided a dinner with many delicious dishes.
Many refugees and migrants from Burma have settled in various parts Australia, especially in the Eastern States. Currently, Fr Will Matthews SDB who grew up in Burma, looks after the spiritual and educational needs of the Burmese refugees and migrants in Melbourne, Adelaide, Wagga Wagga, and Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand.
Burmese Masses are regularly celebrated at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church in Sunshine at 3:00 PM on every second Sunday of the month. There are regularly gatherings of Burmese Catholics in various parts of Australia and New Zealand.