Myanmar Catholic Church 2007

Myanmar Catholic Church 2007
Catholic Bishops' Conference Myanmar.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007



Brief History
The poineering work of Evangelization in Kengtung (Kyaingtong), was initiated by Bishop Emmanuele Sagrada(PIME) of Taungngu, who sent Fr. Francesco Portuluppi, Fr. Lombardi and Fr. Erminio Bonetta, who are PIME Missionaries, to the Eastern Shan State in 1912. The leader of the priests was Fr. Erminio Bonetta(PIME), an experienced missionary of the hills. A school was opened and the sons of local chieftain were among the first students. Contact was made with villages and Fr. Portaluppi(PIME) established himself at Mong Ping, a Shan village 65 miles west of Kengtung (Kyaingtong) on the road to the Salween River. In 1913, the following year, the first sign of progress among the Akhas began to pave the way for conversion. The World War I stopped the flow of the missionaries.

The opening of the new State Hospital led to the introduction of the Sisters who arrived on February 26, 1916 from Italy.They belong toReligious Congregation of Sisters of Maria Bambina and at the request of Msgr. Erminio Bonetta(PIME), they were employed to work in the Hospital. They did wonderful work. They opened an orphanage. In 1919 Bishop Sagrada (PIME) visited the mission and found it solidly established. A Leper Colony was opened in 1945. The third mission station was opened at Mong Lain, 80 miles south on the road to Thailand in 1924.

April 27, 1927, the territory was erected as the Prefecture Apostolic of Kengtung (Kyaingtong) with Msgr. Erminio Bonetta (PIME) as its first Prefect. There were 8 priests at that time. They were:
1. Fr. Miele (PIME)
2. Fr. Rizieri Badiali (PIME)
3. Fr. Marco Cattaneo (PIME)
4. Fr. Grazioso Banfi (PIME)
5. Fr. Elia Cattani (PIME)
6. Fr. Giovanni Camnasio (PIME)
7. Fr. Josef Salsone (PIME)
8. Fr. Igino Zuliani (PIME)

Mong Yang was opened. Then a famine occured that same year and the charity and the sympathy of the missionaries contributed to the conversion of 150 families. In 1929, the Sisters of Charity were asked to take charge of the Civil Hospital in Loimwe, 18 miles south of Kengtung (Kyaingtong), the 5th station was thus opened.

Mong Yong and Mong Phyak were opened. Catechumens numbered seven thousand. Temporary buildings were replaced; schools were progressing and the Sisters were doing a fine job among the sick and lepers.
In 1938, the mission opened its own hospital at Mong Lin. In 1939, Seminary was opened in Kengtung (Kyaingtong). In 1940 there were 24 priests. The Italian priests were interned by the British, some in India others in Myanmar during the World War II. Under the Japanese, they were kept at Kalaw.
After the Japanese invasion, the missionaries were allowed to return to their places. Msgr. Erminio Bonetta(PIME), due to ill treatment of Japs, lost the sight of one eye. He went to Italy for medical treatment in 1947 and returned on the following year with six new missionaries. On a trip to Mong Phyak and Mong Yong on a salt laiden truck, the driver lost control of his vehicle on the deep descent. Msgr. Bonetta (PIME) and an old woman were pinned under the truck and killed instantly.

In May 1950, Kengtung (Kyaingtong) was raised to that of a Vicariate and Msgr. Ferdinando Guercilena(PIME) was chosen as its first Vicar. He visited Italy for the first time in 24 years and was consecrated in his native village of Montodine, Diocese of Crema, on October 8, 1950. He returned to Kengtung on the following year.

The first prayer book, hymn book and the Life of Christ were published in Lahu language in 1954 and in Akha language in 1955; also in Shan. Fr. Farronato (PIME) was killed by the Nationalist Chinese on his way to visit Catholics. He was buried in Mong Yong by the side of his brother- priest, who had died of black fever in 1926.

Fr. Stephen Vong, a local Chinese, educated at the Anglo-Chinese School in Yangon was the first priest of Kengtung (Kyaingtong) Vicariate. He died a martyr in April, 1961.

On January 1, 1955 when the hierachy was established in Myanmar, the Vicariate became a Diocese with Msgr. Ferdinando Guercilena(PIME) as its first Bishop. Later in 1967, he went back to Italy for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, His Holiness Pope Paul VI nominated Msgr. Abraham Than of Taungngu as the Auxiliary Bishop of Kengtung (Kyaingtong) on December 19, 1968. He was consecrated at Yado on the 11th May, 1969 by H.E. Bishop Sebastian U Shwe Yauk.

H.E. Bishop Abraham Than arrived in Kengtung (Kyaingtong) on the 7th June 1969 and later became the Residential Bishop of Kengtung on the 19th September 1973. He created several new parishes all over such as: Tachileik, Thiri, Mong Khat, Pan Non Lon, Ton Kuam, St. Peter and Kafa parishes. The evangelization in the Myanmar-Chinese border, Special Region No. 4 is the most remarkable achievement in his lifetime. He retired in January 2002.

Msgr. Peter Louis Ca Ku consecreted on the 8th December 1997 as Auxiliary Bishop of Kengtung, succeeded Bishop Abraham Than and was installed on January 25, 2002 by H.E. Msgr. Adriano Bernardini, the Apostolic Delegate in Myanmar, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, Kengtung (Kyaingtong). Vision of the Diocese
Strong Diocesan Structure and Promotion of the Communion of the communities with preferential option for the poor through community organizing, education, livelihood and community welfare.

General Statistics

Area in sq.klm : 45,856
Civil Population : 870,000
Catholic Population : 54,000
Parishes : 20
Bishops : 2
Priests : 28
Religious Congregations : 5
Men Religious : 1
Women Religious : 95
Catechists & Prayer leaders : 600
Zaytamans : 78


His Excellency
Bishop Peter Louis Ca Ku
(Bishop of Kengtung)

Date of Birth 23. 03. 1952
Ordained Priest 04. 04. 1982
Consecrated 08. 12. 1997
Installation 25. 01. 2002

Address Catholic Pastoral Center
Kyaingtong E.S.S. 06231
Tel: 084-22018


His Excellency
Bishop Abraham Than
(Bishop Emeritus)

Date of Birth 21. 09. 1927
Ordained Priest 22.09. 1957
Nominated 19.12.1968
Consecrated 11.05.1969
Installation 19.09.1973
Address Catholic Pastoral Center
Kyaingtong E.S.S. 06231
Tel: 084-21106
Vicar General: Msgr. Mario Martu
Address Catholic Pastoral Center
Kyaingtong E.S.S., 06231
Tel: 084-22949/09-5250703
Chancellor: Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom
Address Catholic Pastoral Center
Kyaingtong E.S.S., 06231
Tel: 084-22811


Secretary: Fr. Stephen Ano
Catholic Pastoral Centre
Kyaingtong E.S.S. 06231,
Tel: 084-22028/09-5250721

College of Consultors:

Bishop Peter Louis Caku Ordinary
Msgr Mario Martu Vicar General
Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom Chancellor
Fr. Stephen Ano Secretary
Fr. Joseph Amu Vicar Forane: Kyaingtong Zone
Fr. Clement Hla Shwe Vicar Forane: Special #4 Region
Fr. Sebastian No Vicar Forane: Mong Phyak Zone
Fr. Pasquale Sai Yee Vicar Forane: Mong Khat Zone
Fr. Peter Anwe Procurator
Fr. Bosco Ya Byaw (Rector, Minor Seminary)

Presbyterial Council:
Bishop Peter Louis Ca Ku Ordinary
Msgr. Mario Martu Vicar General
Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom Member
Fr. Stephen Ano Member
Fr. Paul Sai Kham Member
Fr. Joseph Stephen Member
Fr. Peter Anwe Member
Fr. Joseph Amu Member

Diocesan Pastoral Council:
Bishop Peter Louis Ca Ku Ordinary
Msgr. Mario Martu Vicar General
Fr. Tracisio Sai Noom Chancellor
Fr. Bosco Ya Byaw
Sr. Theresa Lay
Mr Paul Ah Ye
Ms. Doris
Fr. Martin Ai Han
Mrs. Rosaria
Mr. Gaetano
Mr. Matthias
Mr. Zaw Oo Finance Committee
Bishop Peter Louis Ca Ku
Msgr. Mario Martu (Vicar General )
Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom
Fr. Stephen Ano
Fr. Peter Anwe (Procurator)
Fr. Clement Hla Shwe
Ms. Pia Yee
Ms. Doris
Ms. Rose Mary Nang Si Kham
Mr. Antonio Sai Nyo
Mr. Kyi Myint

Pastoral Commissions and Services

Liturgy Fr. Sebastian No
Laity Fr. Martino Ai Han
Family Fr. Pasquale Sai Yee
Episcopal Commission on Clergy Fr. Clement Hla Shwe
Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism
Fr. Joseph Norman Wu
Social Communication Fr. Angelo Sai Pyan
Youth Fr. Gaitano
P.M.S.(Procurator) Fr. Peter Anwe
Peace and Justice Fr. Sebastian Ajo
Tourism and Migration Fr. Joseph Amu
Evangelization Msgr. Mario Martu
Education Fr. Clement Ate
Catechetical formation Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom
Episcopal Vicar for Religious Fr. Joseph Norman Wu


01. Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral
Catholic Church
Kyaingtong E.S.S., 06231
Tel: 084-22811 (Pastor) Fr. Tarcisio Sai Noom
(Associate Pastor) Fr. Gaitano
(Associate Pastor) Fr. Joseph Norman Wu

02. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church
Kat Phat (Pastor) Fr. Basilio Than Tautt

03. St. Peter's Church Catholic Church
Kyaingtong E.S.S., 06231
(Pastor) Fr. Bejamino No No

04. St. Stephen's Church Ton Kuam
(Pastor) Fr. Stephen Ah Chu

05. Immaculate Conception Church
Loimwe (Pastor) Fr. Joseph Amu

06. Sacred Heart Church Mong Khon
(Pastor) Fr. Joseph Stephen

07. Regina Pacis Church Mong La
(Pastor) Fr. Sebastian Ajo

08. Christ the King Church Catholic Church
Mong Ping
(Pastor) Fr. Anthony Agaw

09. Good Shepherd Church Pan Non Lon
(Pastor) Fr. Anthony Paul

10. Our Lady of Fatima Church Catholic Church
Mong Hsat
(Pastor) Fr. Lawrence Ah Sho

11.St. Jude's Church Tachileik
Tel: 95-084-51197
(Pastor) Fr. Angelo Sai Pyan

12. St. Joseph's Church Thiri
(Pastor) Fr. Sebastian No
13. Holy Trinity Church Mon Lain
(Pastor) Fr. Johnny Kyar Tair

14. Assumption Church Catholic Church
Mong Phyak
(Pastor) Fr. Henry Soe Thein

15. Anunciation Church Catholic Church
Mong Yong (Pastor) Fr.Thomas Ah Ju

16. St. Theresa's Church Ba Che
(Pastor) Fr. Clement Hla Shwe

17.St. Joseph's Church Catholic Church
Mong Khat
(Pastor) Fr. John Bosco Cia Gio

18. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church
Mong Khat
(Pastor) Fr. Paulo Ma Lum

19.St. Joseph's Church Catholic Church
Mong Pawkk
(Pastor) Fr. Pasquale Sai Yee

20. St. Jame the Apostle's Parish Catholic Church
Nant Pan
(Pastor) Fr. Clement Hla Shwe


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