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Myanmar Catholics ready to support priests

’Transparency’ necessary between laypeople and priests

Participants at the almsgiving ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay Participants at the almsgiving ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay
  • ucanews.com reporter, Mandalay
  • Myanmar
  • January 19, 2011
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Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay has expressed appreciation of the laity’s generous contribution and active participation in the Church.

Local parishioners are ready to support their parish priests with food and other facilities and their consistent help shows their deep commitment to the Church and “value and respect” for priests and Religious, he said.

In return, Archbishop Grawng asked priests to be mindful of their responsibilities.

Lay people want priests to focus on spirituality according to their priestly role and responsibilities, said U Kyaw Min, secretary of the Everlasting Fund Association of the Mandalay Archdiocese. For this relationship between priests and laity, he added, “transparency” is necessary between them. Priests should listen to laypeople, support their laity role and provide necessary training for such a role.

On Jan. 16 the archdiocese’s laity-led association organized the fifth “almsgiving” ceremony for the archbishop, priests, Religious, deacons and catechists of the Mandalay Archdiocese at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay.

Around 300 parishioners joined the event, which collected 5.9 million kyats (US$7,000) from different parishes in Mandalay archdiocese.

During the event, 52 diocesan and Religious priests won lucky draw gifts that included blankets, towels, soaps and clocks, 42 Religious convents received sacks of rice and oil and 35 catechists received 10,000 Kyats (US$10) each.

“Our parishioners are so generous, it would be better if they not only support the priests and Religious but also the needy,” said Ma Mabel.

The laywoman from the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish said she likes the local popular Buddhist practice of almsgiving to monks. “I am happy that we can carry out this good idea in our Church.”

The archdiocese had been organizing the annual donation ceremony since 1987 up until 2000. Then, the lay association revived the tradition in 2007.

Related report
Church almsgiving takes the Buddhists’ lead

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