A new Catholic bishop in Myanmar vowed to work for “peaceful coexistence with people in the environment” in a social media post this week.
“As much as I can, I will work together with priests, men and women religious, catechists, and laypeople … for the spiritual benefits, social development, and peaceful coexistence with people in the environment,” said Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, newly appointed prelate of Keng Tung diocese.
He invited Catholics in his area to “serve the best according to the respective apostolic work assigned to each one.”
The bishop thanked Pope Francis for the appointment, “although I am not worthy due to my weaknesses.”
Addressing the faithful, the bishop said, “Let us do our best to receive God’s protection, to be sons and daughters who rely on God’s might without discouragement despite many difficulties in this missionary journey.”
Speaking earlier to AsiaNews, the new bishop also expressed his gratitude Italian missionaries “who sacrificed themselves and planted the seed of faith in the diocese of Kengtung.”
Born in 1968 in Homalim, in the Sagaing region, the new bishop completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the St. Joseph major seminary in Pyin Oo Lwin, where he returned as a teacher in 2004 after obtaining a master’s degree in moral theology at the St. Joseph of Yonkers, New York.
From 2008 to 2014, the year in which he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Yangon, he also held the position of rector of the institute.
“Following the examples of PIME missionaries, I hope to serve God’s people with love, dedication and fidelity together with the clergy, religious and laity of the diocese,” he said.
Unlike other dioceses where thousands of Catholic faithful are displaced, Kengtung has been spared in part by the ongoing civil war in Myanmar.
Bishop John Saw Yaw Han was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Yangon and titular bishop of Buffada since 2015.
He was named bishop of Keng Tung on November 4.