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New Myanmar bishop sets his priorities

Pyone Cho says he wants to listen to opinions from all sides

Msgr. Alexander Pyone Cho, new bishop of Pyay Diocese, western Myanmar Msgr. Alexander Pyone Cho, new bishop of Pyay Diocese, western Myanmar
  • ucanews.com reporter, Pyay
  • Myanmar
  • March 17, 2011
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Myanmar’s newest bishop says there are many projects he would like to pursue in his diocese, but first he would like to listen to the opinions of laypeople, religious and priests.

The formation of people, producing good leaders, social development and vocations, are all important issues that need addressing, Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay said, but it is necessary to talk to people at grassroots level before pressing ahead.

“We need good leaders among priests, nuns and youths to guide others and work for the development of the Church,” Bishop Pyone Cho said.

The new bishop urged lay people at his Episcopal ordination on February 27 “to work together and help one another in the pilgrimage of life here on Earth.”

To this end, evangelization work among Buddhists and helping victims of Cyclone Giri, which struck on October 22 last year, are also challenges the new bishop wishes to tackle.

To help him do this Bishop Pyone Cho aims to utilize what he learned and experienced working in parishes in the United States.

Bishop Pyone Cho said good organization, moral support and mutual understanding are essential for the effectiveness of missionary work.

Efficient administration, sharing responsibilities, and making use of the right people in the right places, as well as modern technology are also essential for the smooth running of a diocese, according to the new bishop.

“I will put into practice what I learned in the States, try my best and work together with the priests in order to take this diocese forward.”

The 62 year old said the good example set by missionaries when he was young inspired him into becoming a priest.

Priests and nuns in Pyay say they are looking forward to working with the new bishop.

“I do believe his openness and understanding of others can inspire a unified clergy to work for development,” said Father Gabriel Aung Lin Sein, parish priest of Myaebon.

“Bishop Pyone Cho is a man of self-sacrifice, patience, humility, compassion and ready to work for all, regardless of religion or race. Everyone is confident he’ll be able to take the lead and work for the development of the diocese,” said Sister Rita Phyo from the Congregation of Our Lady of the Mission.

Bishop Pyone Cho was born in 1949 and ordained a priest in March, 1975. He served as a pastor in several parishes and as spiritual director and rector at a Catholic major seminary between 1975 and 2006, before departing for the United States in 2007.

He was appointed by the Vatican as Pyay’s new bishop on December 3, 2010, while he was still serving in Kansas City.

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