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Loikaw, Myanmar: Priestly ordination of two Dominicans for the service of the Universal Church.

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Every year, on the 13thof May, Nwalawo parishioners flock to the Soduyar hill where apparitions of Our Mother Mary had been reported. These parishioners are under the care of Dominicans in Loikaw, Myanmar. Year after year, the devotees of Mary increased.  The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima has become a big feast for not only for Nwalawo parishioners but for all devotees of Mary in Loikaw Diocese.

This year, as the Friars intended to have priestly ordination of the two brothers, the parishioners made more effort in improving the road to the hill and some other things.

Days before the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the parishioners of Nwalawo come to the hill to make preparations, such as cleaning the area for the liturgical celebration, storing water for cooking, preparing the tents and making some decorations. Every evening, the parishioners also took turns to make the Novena to Mother Mary for the success of this combined celebration. All the parishioners were excited for this great party.

The prayers of the parishioners were heard and answered by God. On May 13, 2019 beautiful clouds came to provide shade for all the devotees of Mary. It really was a miracle because, unlike the previous days, the day of the celebration the weather was fresh and pleasant. The sun appeared only after the mass.

The Dominican brothers and sisters were all on the hill already by 6 o’ clock while the devotees of Mary started to pour in at 6:30 AM from all corners of the Diocese. The people were so many that even the Local Ordinary could not get to liturgical area in time.

The ordination ceremony began with the procession from a tent to the stage at the foot of the hill. Two flute bands, two trumpet bands and one Kayah traditional musical instrument band escorted the bishops and priests to the stage. Bishop Stephen, the Local Ordinary, presided over the mass and conferred priesthood to Br. Paul Thu Reh and Br. Anthony Man Thang. Bishop Emeritus Sotero Phamo, Bishop Emeritus Paul Si Thu Grawn (Mandalay Diocese) also came to attend this celebration and there were 50 priests co-celebrated. Not less than 200 religious sisters were also intendance. Of course, the largest group is the devotees of Mary, which could be around 10,000 in numbers. Among these numerous faithful, some relatives of Bro. Anthony were also there who came all the way from Chin State to Kayah State, West to East. As Bro. Paul is from this Diocese, his relatives were more in attendance.

The ordination and liturgical celebration was vibrant with voice of the Parish Youth Choir which numbers more one hundred. Compared to the previous years, everything was better. The visible improvements are the clear signs that God is granting abundant graces to the Nwalawo parishioners through the intercession of Mother Mary.

We celebrate and pray for our new priests. Congratulation!

By Fr. Moses Dereh, OP.