Loikaw (Agenzia Fides) – “We rejoice for the beatification of PIME missionary Fr Vergara and the lay catechist Isidoro. We are proud of them both. It was Fr Mario Vergara who evangelised us and we see it as a blessing from God that we have this blessed priest as our father in the faith. We are his sons and his daughters. He is an inspiration for our local Church, a source of great strength and hope. We remember and we share his zeal for evangelisation ”. Fides learned this from Bishop Stephen Tjephe, apostolic Administrator of the Burmese diocese of Loikaw, where the two missionaries were martyred. On May 24 in the Cathedral of Avversa in Italy, there was the beatification of Fr Mario Vergara and the catechist Isidoro Ngei Ko Lat, martyred in Burma in May 1950 (see Fides 23/05/2014).
That martyrdom has borne second fruits: “Today – says Bishop Tjephe – we have about 80 thousand Catholic faithful. We are continually blessed with new vocations and the Beatification will certainly give new impulse to vocations and to missionary work. It will also offer encouragement to our laity: Isidoro was a layman and he remains a model for all our young people. Still today the main challenges in the diocese are evangelisation and formation, to deepen faith so it may become part of daily life, and Christ will be the real centre of the life of each one of us”.
Emeritus Bishop of Loikaw, Mons. Sotero Phamo, who knew Fr Vergara personally, also expresses his joy: “His faith and his blood, will give life to us today: he gave his life for us and for our Church. And for this we will be eternally grateful and I believe that the seed of the many good fruits we reap today was his offering”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/5/2014)