Untitled Document
Pathein Catholic Diocese
I COME TO SERVE (Matthew 20:28)
Untitled Document
Untitled Document
Untitled Document
Brief History

The Diocese of Pathein (Bassein) was officially erected in 1954, when His Holiness Pope Pius XII established the Catholic Hierarchy in Burma. Apostolate was first commenced among the Karens of the Delta area in 1844 by an Italian Priest, Fr Dominic Tarolli, who had come over to Burma with Bishop Cao in 1831. Later in 1846, he was joined by Fr. Pogolotti - an Oblate cleric recently ordained at Amarapura in 1843.Myaungmya was fixed as their Headquarters or Mission Centre. Fr. Tarolli, however, was made prisoner during the second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. The mission establishments were totally destroyed.

On the arrival of Bishop Bigandet to Burma in 1856, he appointed Frs. Lacrampe and Naude to evangelize this area. At the cost of much sacrifice and toil, early intrepid pioneers Frs. Lacrampe, Naude and Tardivel managed to establish a flourishing mission. Kanazogon became the Mission Centre for Fr. Lacrampe. He soon set up a Church, a clergy house and a school and by 1862 there were already one thousand Catholics.

Fr. Naude, instead, went across to Maryland and opened up a Mission there. Other outstanding missionary figures like Fr. Tardivel, Fr. Bringaud, Fr. Rouver, Fr. Maigre and Fr. Boudard did much to spread the Good News throughout this difficult virgin area; a name that stands out at this time was that of Fr. George D’Cruz who initiated the Apostolate of the Press among the Karens. The tireless and zealous efforts of those pioneers compeled with the sweat and toil of Burmas’ own Sons-our native Priests, the Church in Bassein (Pathein) steadily developed. 1954 was a memorable year and one of tremendous joy-the first ever Bishop of Pathein- Msgr. George U Kyaw was consecrated Bishop.

● Diocese of Pathein was established as a suffragan diocese of the Metropolitan Yangon in 1956 having Msgr George U Kyaw, a native Karen, as the first Bishop of the diocese. When the diocese was founded, the parishes like Pathein, Ywegone, Myaung Mya, Kanazogone, Paukseinbe, Letthema, Thinganaing, Hinthada, Zaungdang, Thebyu, Maryland had the honor of being the first parishes of the diocese, existing since the time of French Missionaries (MEP). In the time of Bishop George U Kyaw, the mission schools and properties were confiscated and nationalized. A deadly blow that hit the diocese! The country remained closed to the outside world. The region of Ayeyarwady was declared black areas with the effect of Karen insurgency spreading across the region till 1970s.

● Bishop George U Kyaw expired in 1967 and was succeeded by Bishop Joseph Mahn Erie who has expanded the diocese by creating new parishes like Mwe Hauk, Theyet Chaung, Kyone Ta loke, Taung Chaung,etc. The Legion of Mary, Youth movements, parish councils and other pastoral and social programs were initiated.

● Unfortunately Bishop Joseph Mahn Erie resigned in 1982 due to his poor health. The diocese remained without a Local ordinary bishop till 1985 when Bishop J.V Sequiera ( at the age 68) was appointed and ordained 3rd bishop of Pathein. Many of the diocesan Social and Pastoral activities became depleted?. However when Bishop John Gabriel was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop in 1988 many new infrastructures of the diocese were designed and implemented in his short term of service ( 1988 to 1994). The diocese lacked a Local ordinary bishop again from 1994 to 1996 when Bishop Charles Bo became the 5th bishop of Pathein diocese. The first diocesan Synod was convened and held from 12 to 20 December 1997 and the vision, mission of the diocese was laid down along with social and pastoral commissions.

● Bishop John Hsane Hgyi took the place of Bishop Charles Bo ( Now Cardinal) from 2003 and continued the vision and mission of the first Synod which was revised in 2009 in the Post Nargis time.

● Nargis was a great agony for the diocese. It lost many faithful including a priest. Thousands were displaced and the diocese had to reach out to survivors. It also made the diocese systematically become involved in social mission. Now KMSS the social arm is strong, with many of our Catholic youth trained in social mission.

● 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the first diocesan Synod and the diocese of Pathein is now planning to review and reformulate the vision and mission of the diocese to fit within the new challenging context of Myanmar and that of Ayeyarwady Region where the diocese of Pathein is geographically located.

Vission

Integrally developed as people of God, faithfully advancing towards the Fullness of Life in Christ and courageously contributing to building Peace, Justice and Joy of the Holy Spirit in the Region of Ayeyarwady

Mission

The diocese of Pathein commits to;
● Integrally developing as people of God in Faith, Hope and Love
● Faithfully advancing towards the Fullness of Life in Christ in all walks of life
● Courageously contributing to building Peace, Justice and Joy of the Holy Spirit in the Region of Ayeyarwady

VALUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Pathein Diocese will be animated the salvific vision of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom values as articulated in Catholic Social Teaching
● Faith, Hope and Love
● Dignity of the Human Person
● Common Good and Community
● Option for the poor
● Rights and Responsibilities
● Economic Justice
● Stewardship of God’s Creation
● Promotion of Peace

APPROACHES

Approches are as follow:
1. A participatory church which empowers its laity
2. An evangelizing Church that makes the evangelized as the evangelizers
3. The promotion of human dignity as a justice and rights based organization.
4. A church that goes out to the margins advocating the rights of the vulnerable
5. A church that is poor and for the poor (Pope Francis)

Location

Bounded on the west by the Bay of Bengal and Rakhine State, South by the Indian Ocean, East by the line of Bogale,Maubin, Pantanaw and Nyaungdon Townships and North by the Lines of Myanaung and Kyankin Townships.

General Statistics

Area in sq. kilometer
25,328
Civil Population
6,864,623
Catholic Population
61,217
Parishes
36
Priests
112
Religious Congregations
6
Man Religious
53
Women Religious
130
Catechists
124
Minor Seminarians
42
Major Seminarians
20
Priests Studying in Rome
1
Priests Studying in Philippines
3
Priests Studying in Thailand
2
Donum Fidei Priests in USA
6
Donum Fidei Priests in Australia
2
Donum Fidei Priests in Italy
1
Donum Fidei Priests in Thailand
1
Donum Fidei Priests in Myanmar(Different Dioceses)
Papua New Guini
2