Following the Rector Major’s call and subsequent acceptance by Fr Maurice Vallence (which took place on 9 June), 24 July was established as the day for installing the new superior of the Myanmar vice province. Fr Maurice, previously Rector of the novitiate community at Anisakan, agreed with the outgoing Superior, Fr Joachim Ye Maung, that the ceremony be held at the Mary Help of Christians Shrine, Nazareth, Anisakan. Yangon is the administrative centre for the vice province but further north is where the greater number of confreres are to be found.
Archbishop Paul Z. Grawng of Mandalay, the local Ordinary for Anisakan, and Archbishop Charles Bo sdb, of Yangon, had arrived from Mandalay. In his introduction at the beginning of the Mass Archbishop Paul profusely thanked Fr Joachim Ye Maung for the long years of service in leading the vice province. He invited the assembly to pray for Fr. Maurice as he assumed the responsibility. “Both Fr. Maurice and Fr. Ye Maung are to be considered as the precious gifts of the Lord to the Salesian vice province of Myanmar and for the Church in Myanmar as well,” he said.
Twenty six priests concelebrated, amongst whom three from the diocesan clergy. Many other Religous men/ women, novices and aspirants from nearby Congregations were also present. After the liturgy of the Word, the Official Appointment Letter from the Rector Major was read out in English by a senior confrere, and a cleric-student of Philosophy delivered it in Burmese (Myanmar). Fr. Maurice made the Profession of Faith as required and signed the official document. Archbishop Charles Bo gave the homily, reminiscing about his interesting years at the Nazareth Aspirantate. He thanked Fr Ye Maung, who had done much for the growth of the Congregation in the country in number and quality, as also for the much-needed constructions he oversaw. Taking his cue from the Gospel of the vine and the branches (Jn. 15: 1-17), he stressed the need for union with Christ in love and in obedience so as to collaborate with the new Superior to realize the Salesian Project.
Fr. Joachim Ye Maung spoke some final words of encouragement to Fr Maurice.