A few days after the missionary arrived in the country, he was asked by Bishop Bo to live in a poor neighborhood where the majority of people were Indian Muslims or Hindus.
"We began visiting poor families, old people living alone. We prayed with them and brought Communion to the Catholics. In addition for a year we had a house to welcome young people who came to the capital thanks to scholarships from the Jesuits," the missionary recalled.
He also said that some of those young men wanted to follow their charism, and so they had to begin an intensive formation program for them.
"It's very important that when a new house is opened up and native vocations are coming forth, that they are well trained, so they can be the ones who can work with more freedom of movement and knowledge of their own society," he said.
The missionaries are currently offering English classes to the children in the neighborhood who are all Buddhists. "They're normal families with few resources. We want to offer them the possibility of their children learning English and Korean, because they all dream of going to South Korea."
The missionary said that the Catholic Church is a "witness to peace, unity, and encounter" within Burmese society and pointed to their initiative in the city of Mandalay, the cradle of Buddhism, where they have an ecumenical group that brings together Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants and Catholics.
Ultimately, he remains hopeful about the future of the Catholic Church in Burma.
"In 1962, the government expropriated all the Church's schools and centers, leaving only state-run education," he said. "But now it looks like they just gave approval to the possibility of setting up kindergartens. I know that some congregations are getting ready to open official kindergartens in different areas of the country."
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.