A congregation of nuns in Myanmar is sharing stories of pain and suffering that they witnessed and experienced in recent months during the launch next week of the new issue of the Italian magazine “Mondo e Missione.”
“Horrible news reaches us every day: people arrested, tortured, raped, massacred and burned alive; churches, sacred places, houses in villages and cities burned, bombed; more and more displaced people, pursued, arrested, killed,” said Mother Beatrice, one of more than 380 Sisters of Reparation in Myanmar, in the story she will be sharing in a special online event from Milan on November 10.
The Catholic congregation of nuns, which was founded in Milan in 1859, have shared with the families and people of Myanmar the tragedy of the conflict triggered by the February 1 military coup, said a report on AsiaNews.
Since 1895, the Sisters of Reparation have been present in the most remote villages of Myanmar “for a journey of sharing with local populations, especially with women.”
Currently, the religious congregation is in 13 of the 16 Burmese dioceses in 62 convents. Some of the convents were, however, closed in recent months due to attacks by the military, resulting in the suspension of operations of schools in villages, a home for the elderly in Yangon, and health centers.
But the situation has opened the doors of many convents to welcome people fleeing their homes, especially the elderly and the sick.
AsiaNews said the nuns have been “courageous in making their voices heard, letting flashes of news, stories and dramas filter out of the country.”
“We have been living under the trees for more than a month and the food is almost finished,” said one story of a resident whose family fled to the forest. “We often hear the bombings and one night we heard them right near them; we were afraid of getting caught,” she said.
In addition, priests, pastors, and the religious, including Christians have been intimated and even killed .Churches and places of worship were desecrated and destroyed.
“Before this horrible war my parents used to participate in the Eucharistic celebration every morning and were already thinking, together with the priest, about the preparations for their 50th wedding anniversary,” said one nun.
Then the conflict erupted and they have to escape. “They fled from one place to another, always looking for new areas to protect themselves from bombing, hiding the children in the vegetation,” said the nun who was only identified as Mother Eugenia.
“They brought with them a few things and also some statuettes of the Madonna and, despite the privations, they never stopped praying,” she said.
Mother Beatrice also said that Christians “give hope to people by welcoming them, staying close to them, healing their wounds and consoling them.”
“At certain moments, however, a question torments us: Where are you God? Is it all silence? But it cannot be that God no longer hears our cry. We are sure that he sees our suffering and our misery,” said Sister Beatrice.
“God precedes us with the tenuous light of his Word which lights up hope in the darkness of this terrible night, precedes us and guarantees us his safety,” she added.
The launching of the magazine in Milan will be held in collaboration with AsiaNews and will focus on “Myanmar, a forgotten crisis” that will be aired live on various social media platforms.