Myanmar Catholic Church 2007

Myanmar Catholic Church 2007
Catholic Bishops' Conference Myanmar.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

HAKHA DIOCESE

Brief History
The blue mountains in the Western side of Chindwin river were always on the mind of the French Priests of the "Paris Foreign Mission Society"(Missions Etrangeres De Paris). They were known for their missionary zeal and holiness. They attempted to enter the Chin Hills even in 1864. In that year Bishop Bigandet sent Fr. Lecomte (MEP), but his mission to reach the Chin hills was not successful since his movement was restricted. The King's soldiers escorted him and did not allow him to go beyond the Catholic villages.

Twenty years later in 1884, Fr. Laurent (MEP), who worked some years among the Kachins previously, came to Kalaymyo. There he met some Chins. He found that the Chins did not speak much Burmese but they were kind and simple. In 1888, Fr. Antonin Usse came up to Kindat near Mawlaik from Chaung U by English steamer. Relating his experience, he wrote to Bishop Simon of Mandalay: "Farther in the west are the Chins, a people of straight forward and brave warriors, who are defending their independence against the ambition of the English, I would be proud to be their apostle". He came back to visit the Catholics in the English military camps. This time, on September 22, 1889, he reached Forth while near Thuklai. As he looked down from there, he saw the the nearby villages abandoned by the villagers who hid themselves in the jungle due to the war with the British soldiers. In his letter to the bishop dated October 15, 1889, he said "Once I climbed up to the top of the mountain and contemplated the villages far away. How I wished to go there with my crucifix and my breviary... it would be useless to go now. The country will open itself. Some day it will be necessary to send a caravan of missionaries in that part of the Vineyard. They might die even there, victims of their zeal." He was the first Catholic priest to visit Northern Chin State.

In 1890, the Vicar Apostolic of Mandalay, Msgr. Simon, sent one of his best priests, Fr. Laurent (MEP), and Fr. Vestraeten to Chin hills, 250 miles away. They went towards Northern Chin hills and settled at Balet, south of Mawlaik, on the western side of the Chindwin River. But after one year, they saw that they were still far- from the real Chins.

The next year, Fr. Laurent went with Fr. Jarre to enter Chin hills in the south from Pakokku, through Pauk and Thilin. They arrived to the large village of Shon-Shi, near the Myitha river. Although it was at the foot of the hills, they had met with real Chins, and they began to study the language.

At the end of 1891, after the retreat, a third missionary, Fr. Accarion, joined them. With the complicity of Chin traders who had come down to the plains, they made the project of climbing to Hakha to settle there, in the centre of Chin Hills. Fr. Laurent remained at Gangaw, for health reasons. But as soon as Frs. Jarre and Accarion arrived to Hakha, the capital of Chin State, an English officer, who was a protestant and hostile to the Catholics, obliged them to leave the place and to go back down to the plains saying that Chins were not yet civilized and the life of the priests would be in danger. The Fathers had no choice but to go back to Gangaw. In 1898, the American Baptist missionaries came to Hakha. The same officer who refused to give permission to Catholic missionaries to work in the Chin hills welcomed them with open arms.

The coming of the Baptist Mission was a blessing in disguise for the Catholic Mission. For more than forty years, they invented the written language of Hakha, Falam and Tiddim with English alphabets. They translated the New Testament. They abolished the sacrifices to the spirits which is too costly. The Chins opened their eyes to the world. They wanted to become Baptists, but their strict prohibition to drink "Zu" (Chin beer) is too demanding for the Chin people. "Zu" is for them a kind of nutrition and also the only consolation for them after a hard day's work. Many people began to ask for a kind of Christianity that would allow its believers to drink "Zu". At the same time many wanted to be free from worshipping evil spirits.

By any standard, the first attempts of Catholic missionaries to Chin hills were not successful.

Evangelization of Southern Chin State
The second attempt was made in 1934, under Bishop A. Faliere 50 years later than the protestants. Bishop A. Faliere, Fr. Audrain (MEP) and Fr. Alexis U Ba Din, a diocesan priest, with four catechists arrived at Kanpetlet, the then capital of Southern Chin State, on the 17th of December 1933. Looking for better prospects, the pioneers proceeded to Mindat, 32 miles northeast of Kanpetlet on the 31st of December 1933. The first Mass was offered on the 1st of January 1934. With the strenuous efforts of two pioneers, Fr. Audrain and Fr. Alexis, the good seed of the Word of God was sown in the Mindat area of Southern Chin State to grow in time into a big tree.

Evangelization of the Northern Chin State

In 1938, Bishop Faliere came to meet Colonel Burne at Magwe to settle some problems connected with Mindat hospital. Colonel Burne was the highest authority in the Chin Special Division. When they met each other, the Colonel had just come back from his official visit to the northern Chin hills. He recommended the Bishop to go and begin a Catholic Mission in the Northern Chin hills. The Bishop was very happy and he himself came to the north in the following year in 1939. While the Bishop and his companions were at the house of Mr. Kelly, the Assistant Superintendent of Tiddim and a Catholic, the Superintendent from Falam came to meet them. He told the Bishop that the coming of the Catholic Mission in the Chin hills was contrary to the agreement signed in 1898 with the Baptist Missionaries. He wanted them to draw back as they did to Fr. Jarre and Fr. Accarion. The bishop smilingly told him that he came there with the permission of the highest authority, Colonel Burne at Magwe. He continued his missionary journey without fear. The American Baptist Missionaries did not keep silent. They wrote to the British Governor of Burma reminding him of the agreement made with them in 1898. According to them, the arrival of the Catholic Church in the Chin hills would break that agreement. The governor kindly thanked them for their good works among the Chins but ended his letter by saying that he did not see any reason to forbid the arrival of the Catholics there. "As in the rest of Burma", he added, "the simultaneous presence of Baptists and Catholics created an emulation quite beneficial to the population, so would the presence of Catholics alongside the Baptists on the hills be of benefit to all people." With this the Catholics won a landslide victory.

The real beginning of the Catholic Church in the Northern Chin hills started with the arrival at Tonzang of Fr. Mainier, Fr. Blivet, Fr. Aloysius U Ba Khin and four catechists: Maung Tun Yin, Fridolinus Mg Ba Maung, Saya Aung Min, Mr. Frank Reuben (to Tonzang). Fr. Moses took up his residence at Tonzang, while Fr. Blivet settled at Lailui village.
The Chin State was under the archdiocese of Mandalay until Hakha diocese was established on 21 November 1992. Bishop Nicholas Mang Thang was ordained as auxiliary bishop of archdiocese of Mandalay on 15 January 1989. And he was appointed on 21 November 1992 and enthroned on 21 March 1993 as the first Bishop of Hakha diocese. Considering a better and more effective mision administration of the diocese, Pope Benedict XVI, raised Msgr Felix Lian Khen Thang, one of our Chin priests from the same diocese, to the dinity of the episcopacy and appointed him as auxiliary bishop of Hakha diocese in view of dividing the diocese into new ecclesiastical jurisdictions. His episcopal ordination was held on May 6, 2006.

HAKHA DIOCESE
Location: Geographically, the Hakha diocese is located on the North Western side of Myanmar (Burma), bordering India, between Latitudes 20.6 and 25.5 East and Longitudes 92.5 and 95.5 North. The area's elevation ranges between 1790 and 6120 feet above sea level.

Established: Hakha Diocese until 1992 was part of Mandalay Diocese. Pope John Paul II established it as a new diocese suffragan to the Mandalay Archdiocese on December 21st, 1992 and the enthronement was celebrated on March 21st, 1993 at Hakha.

Townships: The diocese comprises the 8 townships of Chin State except Paletwa and adjacent regions: Tamu, Kalay, Kalewa, Phaungbyin, Mawlaik and Homalin of Sagaing Division.

Area: Around 351 miles from North to South and 80 miles from East to West and covers the area of approximately 20880.08 square miles.

Population: 923,637 inhabitants, two thirds of the region are situated on the mountainous and hilly ranges. The majority of the inhabitants are Chin-hill-tribal people.

Religion: Christianity is the major religion of the Chins. Eighty-six percent of them belong to the Protestant denominations numbering about fifty sects, and there are a few Buddhists, animists and a few Muslims.

Zones: According to civil data, it is divided into six Zones: Hakha Zone, Tiddim Zone, Kalay Zone, Mindat Zone, Hnaring Zone and Falam Zone
Under Hakha Zone, there are 3 parishes: Hakha, Thantlang, Surkhua.
Under Tiddim Zone, there are 7 parishes: Tiddim, Tonzang, Saizang, Laitui, Cikha, Sakollam and Tuithang. Under Kalay Zone, there are 8 parishes: Kalay, Tahan, Tamu, Khampat, Mainuai, Tanpho, Kalewa and Khumnawi.
Under Mindat Zone, there are 8 parishes: Mindat, Lukse, Kanpetlet, Ro, M’Kuiimnu, Matupi, Cühkheih and Shingbawk.
Under Hnaring Zone, there are 3 parishes: Hnaring, Rezua and Lungcuaipi
Under Falam Zone, there are 4 parishes: Falam, Lumbang, Webula and Rih
General Statistics:
Area in square miles : 19208.8.7
Civil population : 1462748
Catholic population : 84453
Other Christians : 494022
Non Christians : 884273
Parishes : 34
Priests : 60
Diocesan Deacons : 0
Priests studying abroad : 5
Religious Congregations : 5
Men Religious : 2
Women Religious
(Pontifical Right) : 60
Religious Sisters
(Diocesan Right) : 120
Catechists (Full time) : 124
(Part time) 316
Major Seminarians : 74
Intermediate Seminarians : 121
LWMT Seminarians : 60


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Hakha Diocesan Pastoral
and Socio-Agricultural Planning

Inspiration:
Mk. 12:28-34 A self-reliant, Deeply spiritual people;

Vision
Loving God with all our heart, souls and minds
Loving our neighbours, as ourselves;
Living harmoniously in peace, Love, justice and freedom.

Mission
In communion with one another and pledging our obedience to Church authority, we, the diocesan clergy, religious and laity of the diocese of Hakha, commit ourselves to:
Promote education and the intellectual development of the people;
Live a life of worship, prayer and sacrifice;
Be faithful to our life of chastity and submit to church authorities with the spirit of human obedience;
Practice corporal works of mercy and maintain good harmonious inter-personal relationship among ourselves and with others;
Carry out development works to uplift the living standards of the people;
Contribute to the support of the Church in every way we can - our wealth, time, talents and labor.

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His Excellency
Bishop Nicholas Mang Thang
(Bishop of Hakha)



Date of Birth 18.05.1943
Ordained priest 28.04.1973
Ordained Bishop 15.01.1989
Appointed as
Bishop of Hakha 21.11.1992
Installed 21.03.1993
Resident address Bishop's House
Thuriya Road , Pinlong ( 9 )
Kalay Myo, Sagaing Division
Tel & Fax: 073 - 21534
e-mail bpmthang@gmail.com
e-mail of diocese cathhakhadio@myanmar.com.mm



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His Excellency
Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang
(Auxiliary Bishop of Hakha)



Date of Birth 25.12.1959
Ordained Priest 24.02.1990
Appointed as Auxiliary
Bishop of Hakha diocese 03.03.2006
Ordained Bishop 06.05.2006
Residence address Bishop’s House
Thuriya Road, Pinlon (9)
Kalaymyo
Sagaing Division
Tel 073 21880
e-mail bpfelix@gmail.com

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Vicar General: Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang
Vicar Forane (Hakha Zone) Fr. Lucius Hre Kung
Vicar Forane (Kalay Zone) Fr. Martin Suan Khan Mung
Vicar Forane (Mindat Zone) Fr. Christopher Ling Thang
Vicar Forane (Tiddim Zone) Fr. Isidore Tuang Khan Pau
Vicar Forane ( Hnaring Zone ) Fr. Dominic Kung Teal
Vicar Forane (Falam Zone) Fr. Francis Lan Sawn
Chancellor: (Vacant ) Procurator: Fr. John Deng Cin Khup
Thuriya Road, Kalay Myo Sagaing
Tel: 073 -21534

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College of Consultors: Bp. Felix Lian Khen Thang (auxiliary bishop)
Msgr. Andrew Thang Za Khai (pastor of Tahan parish)
Fr. John Om Se (rector of Assumption intermediate seminary)
Fr. John Paul Mang Sein Yaw (diocesan Signis co-ordinator)
Fr. Paulinus Mang Ha Gei (pastor of Mindat parish)
Fr. Paul Thla Kio (pastor of Myo Thit parish)
Fr. Philip En Khan Mang (pastor of Tonzang parish)
Fr. Lucius Hre Kung (pastor of Hakha parish)
Fr. Christopher Ling Thang (pastor of Cühkheih parish)
Fr. Martin Suan Khan Mung (pastor of Kalay St. Mary parish)
Fr. Robert Kam Kho Hau (PMS and PR co-ordinator)
Fr. Michael Zung Cung (diocesan youth commission co-ordinator)
Fr. Dominic Kung Teal (pastor of Hnaring parish)
Fr. Isidore Tuang Khan Pau (pastor of Sakollam parish)
Fr. John Deng Cin Khup (diocesan procurator)

Finacial Council Member Bp. Felix Lian Khen Thang (auxiliary bishop)
Msgr. Andrew Thang Za Khai (pastor of Tahan parish)
Fr. Christopher Ling Thang (pastor of Cühkheih parish)
Fr. John Paul Mang Sein Yaw (diocesan Signis co-ordinator)
Fr. Lucius Hre Kung (pastor of Hakha parish)
Fr. Martin Suan Khan Mung (pastor of Kalay St. Mary parish)
Fr. Isidore Tuang Khan Pau (pastor of Sakollam parish)
Fr. Dominic Kung Teal (pastor of Hnaring parish)
U Fook Phing (diocesan agriculture co-ordinator)
U James Thang Lian Khai (KHSS co-ordinator)
U Henry Suan En Pau (KHSS staff member)

Presbyteral Council Bp. Felix Lian Khen Thang (auxiliary bishop)
Fr. John Paul Mang Sein Yaw (Secretary)
Fr. Michael Zung Cung (diocesan youth commission co-ordinator)
Fr. John Om Se (rector of Asssumption intermediate seminary)
Fr. Christopher Ling Thang (pastor of Cühkheih parish)
Fr. Lucius Hre Kung (pastor of Hakha parish)
Fr. Robert Kam Kho Hau (PMS and PR co-ordinator)
Fr. Isidore Tuang Khan Pau (pastor of Sakollam parish)
Fr. Jerome Hlawn Khawl (spiritual director of seminary)
Fr. Pius Kei Lian Cung (bishop’s office secretary)
Fr. Martin Suan Khan Mung (pastor of Kalay St.Mary parish)
Fr. Dominic Kung Teal (pastor of Hnaring parish)
Fr. John Deng Cin Khup (diocesan procurator)

Diocesan Pastoral Council Bishop Nicholas Mang Thang (President)
Bp. Felix Lian Khen Thang (auxiliary bishop)
Msgr. Andrew Thang Za Khai (pastor of Tahan parish)
Fr. Joseph Ki Khui Om
Fr. Robert Kam Kho Hau (PMS and PR co-ordinator)
Fr. Marcellus Pau Bawi
Fr. Dominic Kung Teal (pastor of Hnaring parish)
Fr. Michael Zung Cung (diocesan youth commission director)
Fr. John Om Se (rector of Assumption intermediate seminary)
Fr. Jerome Hlawn Khawl (spiritual director of seminary)
Fr. John Paul Mang Sein Yaw (diocesan Signis co-ordinator)
Fr. Andrew Cin Go Lian (vice rector of St.Padre Pio Catechistate)
Fr. Thomas Langh Hen Thang (diocesan retreat centre)
Fr. John Deng Cin Khup (diocesan procurator)
Mr. Bernard Thawng Sian Lian (secretary, EV commission)
Mr. James Thang Lian Khai (KHSS co-ordinator)
Mr. Henry Suan En Pau (KHSS staff member)
Mr. Jacobus Cin Sian Mung (youth commission)
Mr. Gabriel Fook Phing (diocesan agriculture co-ordinator)
Mr. Peter Khai Khen Mung (assistant secretary of DPC)
Mr. Joseph Hang Khan Pau (secretary of DPC)
Mr. Martin Phut Za Kap (diocesan construction committee member)
Mr. John Zam Khen Thang (diocesan family commission member)
Mr. Germanus Lian Za Thang (diocesan Signis member)
Mr. Augustine Van Hel Thang (KHSS staff member)
Mr. Francis Lian Khan Pau (diocesan Signis member)
Mr. Peter Khai Za Pau (diocesan Signis member)
Mrs. Helen (DPC member)
Superior of SFX Brothers
Superior of SJA Sisters
Superior of FMM Sisters
Superior of FSAG Sisters
Superior of LWST Sisters
Superior of OSM Sisters

COMMISSION AND SERVICES

Liturgy Fr. Joseph Ro Nei Thang (disciplinarian of seminary)
Karuna Mr. James Thang Lian Khai (KHSS co-ordinator)
Laity & Family Fr. John Deng Cin Khup (diocesan procurator)
Youth Fr. Michael Zung Cung (co-ordinator)
Culture Fr. Pius Kei Lian Cung (bishop’s office secretary)
Ecumenism Fr. Martin Suan Khan Mung (pastor of Kalay St. Mary parish)
Signis Fr. John Paul Mang Sein Yaw (diocesan Signis co-ordinator)
PMS Fr. Robert Kam Kho Hau (co-ordinator)
Evangelization Bp. Nicholas Mang Thang (local ordinary)
Priestly Formation Fr. John Om Se (rector of Assumption intermediate seminary)
Religious Fr. Joseph Pau Kap Mung (pastor of Kanpetlet parish)
Vocation Fr. John Om Se (rector of Assumption intermediate seminary)
Migration & Tourism Fr. Ignatius Hau Khan Kap (pastor of Kalaywa parish)




1 comment:

ipost said...

Interesting to see how Roman Catholicism took hold of Chin state - the stronghold of Protestant Church who successfully pioneered Chin people. However, there are much work left to be done, Christians must co-operate and march towards Yangoon together.

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