Good Shepherd Church (GSC), Setapak recently organised a Kachin Catholic Youth Formation for Myanmarese migrants from Bukit Bintang, Setapak and around its vicinity. Fr. Vincent Shan Lum, a priest from the Myitktina Diocese in Myanmar was in town to facilitate the formation, celebrate the Sacraments and lend a listening ear to the Myanmar community.
The camp was aptly titled, ‘The role of Youths in Social Justice and Peace’. The camp was held in Port Dickson and attended by approximately 60 people. Fr. Vincent, who is the Director of the Justice and Peace Commission in Myanmar explained the function of the Commission in the context of Myanmarese who live outside of Myanmar.
Fr. Vincent spoke at length about social, political, education and economic changes the community is facing and its repercussions. He also drew insights from the participants on the changes they want to see for their state and in the Kachin Catholic Community in Malaysia (CKCM). Majority opined that federalism and peace is a pressing need for Kachin while they would envision having a Kachin Religious Brother/Kachin Catechist for their community here for matters relating to Faith.
The Formation also included the Theology of the Body which was presented by Andrew Teoh from GSC and Ryan James from the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Vincent devoutly expressed his appreciation to Fr. Christopher Wilwaraj, parish priest of GSC and to the Migrant Ministry. “Your support to CKCM in Malaysia is extraordinary and very divine. I extend my love and gratitude to all my fellow Kachin in Malaysia. God be with you”, he said in an online posting.
The GSC Migrant ministry who organised this Formation was very pleased to hear positive feedback from the participants too thus encouraging them to continue to work in solidarity with these migrants.
Participant feedback -
First and foremost, such a gathering itself is already part of human formation. It’s out of our routine which made us really precious for our busy and stressful life! During these days we are so blessed to know about our body which is a gift from God and the awareness of sexuality which is also a precious gift from God. Sometimes we really misunderstand sexuality and we unconsciously abuse it many times. But now we are aware of its preciousness! On the other hand, we are so blessed to know about justice and peace that we really need to be informed and to know in this complicated world! In the past we are so ignorant and afraid to know about that topic because we were oppressed by it and grew up with injustice and not in a peaceful environment! That’s why this formation is really a light and hope for all of us! So, from now on we know that we are gifted and we are called to live in justice and peace with body and soul that we received freely from God!
Article by Charmaine Amanda