ASIA/MYANMAR - Comfort to victims of violence and aid to the displaced: the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Wednesday, 7 April 2021 religious minorities   orders   solidarity   violence   prayer  

Mandalay (Agenzia Fides) - An Easter of solidarity, closeness and human and spiritual comfort is what the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition in Mandalay experienced. In recent days, the sisters went to visit and comfort the family of 18-year-old Ko Zaw Ko Latt, who lived in Sein Pan, near Mandalay, and who was killed during a protest on April 4. Invoking peace and justice for Myanmar, the sisters brought spiritual comfort and stopped to pray with the family. In a situation of serious social tension and widespread poverty, Catholic nuns continue to embody the evangelical message of proximity to those in need, to families in need, to people who have seen their loved ones killed in the wave of repression by the Burmese army.
The nuns also visited and brought comfort and material aid to 150 families who were victims of fires and affected in different ways by the generalized protest situation and the ongoing repression. By visiting the families, the sisters donated medicines, tarps and blankets, humanitarian aid received from donors who chose the sisters to do charity. In Mandalay, in fact, a serious and vast fire broke out, for unknown causes, on 1 April, at 5 am, destroyed 90 houses, affecting 150 families and leaving more than 500 people displaced, homeless. The displaced set up a temporary camp for the victims on the plain of the Buddhist monastery of Myatbayet, with makeshift tents. Many people of goodwill from Mandalay came and donated necessities to the victims.
As the nuns report, the military authorities have not prohibited or limited their charitable work and therefore their humanitarian and solidarity work can continue, assisting displaced families.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition are a female religious institute of pontifical right, founded in France by Emilia de Vialar (1797-1856). The sisters are dedicated to educational, health and pastoral works. In Asia they are present in Myanmar, Burma, the Philippines, India, Thailand. (JZ-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 7/4/2021)