Sunday, June 16, 2013

First Myanmar-born Jesuit

Jesuit Father Wilbert Mireh was ordained to the priesthood in Loikaw Cathedral in Myanmar in May, making him the first Myanmar-born Jesuit to be ordained since the Society of Jesus was approved 473 years ago. Twenty Jesuit priests were present for the ceremony, including Jesuit Father Wardi Saputra, Fr. Mireh’s novice master. “A long time ago the bishop [of Taunggyi, Fr. Matthias U. Shwe] kept asking me, ‘When will we have a Jesuit ordained in Myanmar?’” recalled Fr. Saputra, who came to Myanmar from Indonesia in 1998 to set up a novitiate. For Fr. Mireh, the moment of ordination was one of grace in which he felt the blessing of God. While aware of the responsibility that would come with being his country’s first Jesuit priest, Fr. Mireh said he felt tremendous support from those around him. “It’s a privilege, and a feeling of being ready to begin my ministry — I’ve been wanting to do this for so long. As a Jesuit, I am filled with the missionary spirit,” he said.
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