Anisakan (Myanmar). On February 24, 2018, the FMA of Myanmar celebrated the Province Day of Gratitude at the Marian Shrine of Nazareth at Anisakan. The theme of the day was, “Thank you for your listening heart”.
The sisters prepared for this feast with weekly Eucharistic adoration, the prayer of ‘O Mary Most Powerful Virgin’ after and Rosary, and with nine days of intense prayer to thank Sr. Jessica for her attitude of simple and welcoming listening directed to discerning God’s will.
Present were about 300 members of the educating communities, the parishioners of Anisakan, and the Servite Sisters to participate in this event to thank God for the gift of Sr. Jessica to the CMY Province. Fr. Ashley Miranda, SDB celebrated the Eucharist together with other priests.
This year, the celebration of the feast of Gratitude became more meaningful because it opened the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of FMA presence in Myanmar. The theme chosen for this event is: “25 years of living the dream of Don Bosco in Myanmar”.
Don Bosco was strongly attracted to the missions in other lands because of the possibility of bringing the light of the Gospel to the young who did not know Jesus yet. In 1839, the Oblates of Mary entered into the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu and attracted Don Bosco’s attention. But his desire to go to Myanmar as a missionary was realized by his sons in 1939 when they arrived at Yangon and took over the management of the Lafon Memorial School in Mandalay.
In 1958, Fr. Fortunato Giacomin opened a school for girls that was entrusted to the FMA when they arrived on November 14, 1961. They zealously began to work and after three years, they began to build a large school of three stories with reinforced concrete.
The years 1960-1965, were years of darkness for the religious Congregations and the Churches of Myanmar. In 1962, the army headed by General Ne Win took over power and with him the Socialist Regime as well. In 1965, the new government confiscated all that belonged to the Church, to the congregations, and to the parishes. In 1966, our first missionary sisters: Sr. Maria Dal Corso, Sr. Agnese Azzopardi, Sr. Maria Thottungal, and Sr. Teresa Andreotti were expelled, and our Auxilium School was confiscated by the government.
In 1989, Sr. Mary Khin Myint re-entered Myanmar and began to live in the house of the Salesians at Anisakan. In 1992, Sr. Thecla Chit May and Sr. Filomena Ma Yee also reached the mission in Myanmar. In 1994, St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello Community was canonically erected.
Today, as the sisters thank Sr. Jessica for her fraternal love and for her accompaniment, they launch the year of preparation for the 25th anniversary of presence of the Salesian Sisters at Myanmar. With their hearts filled with gratitude to God for His faithful presence and providence, the dream of the Founder continues for the poor young people and for the children of Myanmar: make them happy on this earth and in eternity through an integral education.