Ongoing formation of the Myanmar junior clergy 2014
It has become a regular event taken place in the month of October annually targeting to the selected and invited group of Myanmar junior clergy under the umbrella of ongoing formation program organized by Episcopal Commission for Clergy, ECC of Myanmar (Episcopal Commission of Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar) .
Headed by His Excellency Bishop Stephen Tjephe, president of ECC, 27 junior priests ordained in 2005 and 2006, representing 9 dioceses in Myanmar were gathered from 12 to 19 October at Chaung Thar village, at the beach of Bay of Bengal, in southern part of Myanmar. The topic chosen to be discussed and shared in the seminar was life of priests and psycho spirituality and conducted by a team of formators composed of 9 local and 2 foreign resources from ECC and MIFF ( Myanmar institute of formation for formators).
To the program was mainly divided in two sessions, one is inputs in from of lecture with presentation and discussion (questions and answers) and the other is individual meeting with the appointed spiritual directors during the seminar. All 27 junior priests participated attentively to the program offered ʻʻwe are happy and grateful to ECC for arranging and organizing this program for us this year. I personally takes it as a time of reunion of our former class and school mates from the Major Seminary in Yangon. More than a decade passed since we finished our priestly formation in the Seminary and since then we dedicate our life till now to the ministries appointed by our diocesan bishop. Now it the time we meet and we share with our friends our experiences and life as diocesan priests in the Church in Myanmar.” said Fr.Joseph Aung Kyaw Swa from diocese of Pyay.
The purpose of annual gathering organized by ECC is to enhance the capacity of the junior priests while journeying together as clergy in Myanmar with continuous renewed life to be more able to listen to the voice of people and accompany them their day to day life. Topic like ʻʻ review of life, speak to others about yourself (practicum), religious and cultural development, listening skills (practicum), child caregiver interaction, group discussion on sexual, alcoholic abuses among clergy, development of morality and personality, sexuality and celibacy, cognitive therapy, unconscious and priestly vocation, research data on vocation and defense mechanism. Moreover canon law and social missions of the Church in Myanmar context were put on topic of discussion in the seminar.
Episcopal Commission for Clergy of Myanmar was established in 2001 and has been annually organizing meeting of junior priests under the ongoing formation program. With the approval and encouragement of Catholic Bishop Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), the collections of donations in Myanmar was the main source of income locally contributed for ECC expense.
Myanmar has a Church 1% of Catholic populations in the total 51 millions of the country. It is a small Church but active and dynamic consciously prepared to respond to the changing Myanmar.
Report from ECC Myanmar
Fr. John Yaw Han