Myanmar is a country located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia, with a population of 53 million persons. It was formerly called Burma, has an ancient Buddhist tradition and contains many small ethnics groups. The Catholic population is less than 4%, or around 2 million persons.
The presence of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in Myanmar began in October, 2010. There are currently three houses:
DOMINIC’S HOUSE Yangon
The first community of friars was established here on October 7, 2010. St. Dominic’s House was officially opened on the feast day of St. Dominic, August 8, 2011. His Excellency Charles Bo, SDB (now Cardinal) personally came to inaugurate the house and announced the presence of the Order in the golden land of Myanmar. Friars of this house serve in a parish on the outskirts of the capital Yangon which ministers to displaced people from other regions, most of them belonging to the minority ethnic groups. Since this house is also the house of formation of aspirants, the brothers dedicate their time to the future candidates for the Order.
THOMAS AQUINAS’ HOUSE Loikaw
St. Thomas Aquinas’ House was inaugurated in November 2012 with the authorization of the Master of Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore O.P. The friar serve in Parish of Nwalawo, six villages with approximately 2000 Catholics. There is also a ‘Learning Center’, with English classes, as well as computer skills classes and teacher training. Every year, around 100 young people take these courses, receiving an opportunity to serve their country and have a better future.
MARTIN DE PORRES’ HOUSE Mandalay
The House of St. Martin De Porres in ZawGyi, near to the City of Mandalay, was established in June 2014.
Considering the urgent need for educational support in the area, the Province opened a ‘Social Training Centre’ to offer supplementary courses and evening classes to the students of Grade V to Grade XI. Many of them are Buddhist students in the neighborhood. The community also offers English Courses and hosts retreats in the Social Center of St. Martin de Porres for the faithful and seminarians.
Along with the Friars, there are two communities of Dominican Sisters, one of which is in Yangon, where so much violence has occurred. These Sisters belong to the Congregation “Religiosas Misioneras de Santo Domingo”, whose Motherhouse is in Italy.
In 1918 this congregation was born as a result of the effort and love that the founders felt for native people, especially for women and the struggle for their dignity.
This community of Dominicans was instituted in 1922 and called themselves the Dominican Sisters of Blessed Imelda inspired by the works of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, the Protectress of First Holy Communicants. Their mission is to be at the service of children and youth through social, pastoral and school ministry.