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US program helps Catholic immigrants from Myanmar

500 Catholic Myanmarese active in Indianapolis Archdiocese

Natalie Hoefer for Catholic News Service

Natalie Hoefer for Catholic News Service

Updated: September 09, 2014 11:37 PM GMT
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US program helps Catholic immigrants from Myanmar
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At 14, Bu Meh of Burma had lived all but the first year of her life in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her family sought safety there after fleeing unrest in their homeland, now known as Myanmar.

In the midst of growing up in the confined, unsettled existence of a refugee camp, Meh learned her Catholic faith. 

After 13 years, her family was resettled to Indianapolis in 2009, facing a new country, a new culture and a new language.

The one consistency in her upended world though was her Catholic faith.

"When you have faith, you don't let someone tell you something is impossible," Meh, now 19, told The Criterion, the newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese. "Through Christ our Lord, all things are possible."

Meh, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis, is one of 15 resettled young adults from Myanmar learning more about their Catholic faith in English through a new catechetical program for Myanmarese immigrants, sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Intercultural Ministry.

Franciscan Brother Moises Gutierrez, director of the office, said the program was created to develop pastoral and catechetical leaders for the Myanmarese population in the archdiocese. The program offers classes, workshops, lectures and other programs in the native language for the Myanmarese immigrants.

About 500 Catholic Myanmarese are active in the archdiocese, he added. 

"But it's not about numbers. Burma is only about three percent Catholic, but that makes them so proud and passionate about their faith. We want to walk with them and give them the tools to develop a stronger Burmese Catholic community in the archdiocese," Brother Gutierrez said.


Full Story: Indiana program helps resettled Myanmarese better know Catholicism

Source: Catholic News Service

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