19 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 11/30/2017, 18.04


    Young Catholics reinvigorated by meeting with Pope Francis in Yangon

    Paolo Fossati

    The pontiff’s apostolic journey to Myanmar has ended. More than 6,000 people took part in the Mass for young people. Kids from various ethnic groups expressed their joy. From our correspondent

    Yangon (AsiaNews) – Young people have emerged "reinvigorated, stronger in their faith" after meeting with Pope Francis, said Jiosep Porlwin, a 29-year-old who led a group of young people from Taunggy, the capital of the eastern state of Shan, who took part in this morning’s Mass that ended the pope's historic visit to Myanmar.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Jiosep noted that "The announcement of this visit was a wonderful surprise for all of us, and as soon as we became aware of it, we began preparing for the pope's arrival. For four months, we young people in the diocese met each Sunday to pray and sing hymns of thanksgiving."

    "Pope Francis’s presence in the country has given us fantastic moments, which we will never forget. Yesterday's Mass at Kyaikkasan Grounds brought together all ethnic groups. For us it was a very significant moment. I am happy the pope found time to dedicate to us young people as well. I still can’t believe it!”

    More than six thousand people were present at the service this morning at St Mary's Cathedral. Only 1,200 youths were allowed into the church. They had received their assigned place days ago. Outside, more than 2,000 were in the garden of the compound and followed the Mass on the large screens set up by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar (CBCM). Beyond the compound, thousands of people followed the celebration on the road.

    At the time of communion, priests came out to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful under the eyes of the security forces who were struggling to handle the traffic.

    At the end of the Mass, when they left St Mary's Cathedral, young people created a colourful parade of traditional clothes. Everyone proudly wore the distinctive garments of their own region, evidence of the variety of ethnic groups that make up the Myanmar society.

    Dressed in a Kachin dress, 17-year-old Ja Seng Ra (pictured), from Monsi (Diocese of Bhamo), spoke about her joy meeting Pope Francis. "His closeness will encourage us to overcome the difficulties that afflict our land", something that she already knows.

    Coming to Yangon was an uphill endeavour. "I come from a very poor family,” she explained. “We are four siblings. To pay for everybody’s trip, I worked hard for weeks,” she said, adding that she was moved, tears in her eyes, when she shook hands with the pontiff.

    By her side was La Htaw Zau Doi Aung, the village leader who accompanied the young people from Bhamo to Yangon. "These kids are witnesses to an event that will change the country. The blessing of the pope will bring benefits," he noted.

    "Change is in the air," said Tin Aung Myint, the head of the delegation of young people from the Diocese of Mandalay (pictured). "The work we have put in organising such an important event in such a short period of time shows what we as Catholics can do. The pope has empowered us, and we young people are ready to work for the good of the country."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    Editor's choices

    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.

    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®