Pope in Myanmar: Mgr. Saw Yaw Han (trip coordinator), “The dream of our fathers comes true”

(from Yangon) “The Pope visiting our country is a dream come true. It was the dream of our fathers, of our grandfathers. Today we are grateful to the Pope for this opportunity given to us. We feel this visit is a blessing to us”. Monsignor John Saw Yaw Han, Auxiliary Bishop of Yangon and local coordinator for the apostolic journey, said this in an interview with SIR news agency at the headquarters of the Archbishopric of Yangon, just behind St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, which will accommodate Pope Francis during his visit to Myanmar from 27 to 30 November. The Pope will be staying on the first floor of this typical and simple Burmese house. Also on the first floor, there is a small chapel and the dining room. At the entrance, in the garden, there is a white statue of Pope Francis with a dove on his head. The visit is being planned down to the smallest details. From the 20 children, chosen from different ethnic groups, who will be at the airport in Yangon to welcome Pope Francis upon his arrival in Myanmar, to live TV coverage: for now, live broadcast has been confirmed for the meeting with the political authorities in the capital Nay Pyi Taw on 28 November and for the Mass at the Kyaikkasan Ground in Yangon on 29 November. Why has the Pope chosen to come to your country? “Because – Bishop Han answered – he cares for the most needy and is concerned about the peripheries. In this sense, he proves to be a pastor with the smell of the sheep”. And he went on to add: “In his video message to Myanmar, Pope Francis spoke of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace and said he would come to our country to confirm the Catholic community in its faith in God and Gospel witness”. In these days, the bishop is working in close contact with the political authorities of the country on finalizing all the practical aspects of the visit. We have had a busy schedule of meetings here in Myanmar, with inspections at the venues of the visit, and also in the Vatican between security managers of the two States. “We have seen great willingness from the authorities to work and do everything possible to promote and organize this visit”, Mgr. Han said. “The Pope has made a great gift to our country by deciding to come here. Myanmar will try to show him gratitude and hospitality. We are a hospitable people, ready to welcome him”.

 

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