Bishop Noel Saw Naw Aye urged eight new deacons to be bearers of peace during their ordination to the diaconate at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon, Myanmar, on December 1.
“The first word to say to the people is ‘Peace be with you.’ The disciples are to bring peace, healing, and happiness to the people,” said the prelate.
Citing the words of Pope Francis to “get the smell of the sheep,” Bishop Naw Aye encouraged the new deacons to go to the peripheries to meet with the people.
“One is ordained not to be confined to one’s parish or place but to go to the people, both to those who accept and do not accept our faith or the Lord Himself,” said the bishop.
“We are to accept the hospitality of the people since the Lord asks them not to bring anything along with them. We are to have faith in the Sender, Our Lord,” he added.
The bishop exhorted the newly ordained deacons to be serious in whatever they do, to have self-control in speech, not to be addicted to wine, not to be greedy for gain but to hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Myanmar has a population of about 55 million, with about 700,000 Catholics. – From a report by Hubert Saw for Radio Veritas Asia