Loading
Jesuit priest yearns to return to Buddhist homeland

.- The first Buddhist convert to Catholicism from the country of Bhutan, Fr. Kinley Tshering, is hoping to return to his Buddhist homeland once his term as rector of St. Joseph’s School in Darjeeling, India is up.

The 49-year-old Jesuit does not know what he would do in his native Bhutan since Buddhism is the state religion and the government, as a policy, does not tolerate other religions. Christians remain social outsiders.

But he told UCA News that he would like to simply be present there and discern God’s will in terms of how to proceed. The priest, who is related to Bhutan's royal family, says he hopes Bhutan will become a democratic nation soon. The new constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, but churches are still not allowed.

However, religious tolerance exists in Thimpu, the capital city, and the priest says the anti-Christian phobia seems to have relented a little in recent years. Furthermore, the royal family “is very tolerant toward Christianity. The present king and all the queens studied in our schools," the priest told UCA News.

Nevertheless, Christ is present in Bhutan. The priest owns a house in Thimpu, where he keeps the Blessed Sacrament. About 60 Catholics, mostly Indians, pray there on Sundays. Besides Fr. Tshering, priests from India visit the country occasionally to attend to these Catholics' pastoral needs. No Catholic priest from outside Bhutan is permitted to stay in Bhutan permanently.

Fr. Tshering said he learned about Christianity at a Jesuit-run school. He wanted to become a Catholic, but the Jesuits had refused.

A Salesian priest, however, baptized him in 1974 when he was in the ninth grade. He recalled that his father was "very upset" about his conversion. While no one in his community persecuted him because of his high caste, no one approved of him either.

After becoming the first Bhutanese to earn an MBA, he worked in some prestigious Indian firms for three years. He wanted to become a Catholic priest, but some missioners dissuaded him. All this changed in 1985 after a chance meeting with Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who convinced him that he had a religious vocation.

He joined the Jesuits when he was 26 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He said his faith has never wavered though he is concerned about the “many dissenting voices in the Catholic Church.”

Jesuit priest yearns to return to Buddhist homeland

DARJEELING, India — The first Buddhist convert to Catholicism from the country of Bhutan, Fr. Kinley Tshering, is hoping to return to his Buddhist homeland once his term as rector of St. Joseph’s School in Darjeeling, India is up.

The 49-year-old Jesuit does not know what he would do in his native Bhutan since Buddhism is the state religion and the government, as a policy, does not tolerate other religions. Christians remain social outsiders.

But he told UCA News that he would like to simply be present there and discern God’s will in terms of how to proceed. The priest, who is related to Bhutan's royal family, says he hopes Bhutan will become a democratic nation soon. The new constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, but churches are still not allowed.

However, religious tolerance exists in Thimpu, the capital city, and the priest says the anti-Christian phobia seems to have relented a little in recent years. Furthermore, the royal family “is very tolerant toward Christianity. The present king and all the queens studied in our schools," the priest told UCA News.

Nevertheless, Christ is present in Bhutan. The priest owns a house in Thimpu, where he keeps the Blessed Sacrament. About 60 Catholics, mostly Indians, pray there on Sundays. Besides Fr. Tshering, priests from India visit the country occasionally to attend to these Catholics' pastoral needs. No Catholic priest from outside Bhutan is permitted to stay in Bhutan permanently.

Fr. Tshering said he learned about Christianity at a Jesuit-run school. He wanted to become a Catholic, but the Jesuits had refused.

A Salesian priest, however, baptized him in 1974 when he was in the ninth grade. He recalled that his father was "very upset" about his conversion. While no one in his community persecuted him because of his high caste, no one approved of him either.

After becoming the first Bhutanese to earn an MBA, he worked in some prestigious Indian firms for three years. He wanted to become a Catholic priest, but some missioners dissuaded him. All this changed in 1985 after a chance meeting with Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who convinced him that he had a religious vocation.

He joined the Jesuits when he was 26 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He said his faith has never wavered though he is concerned about the “many dissenting voices in the Catholic Church.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: