Myanmar - Interreligious dialogue "on the ground": Jews, Catholics and Buddhists together for street children


March 31, 2017

myanmarINTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE - The Salesian centre for street boys in Mandalay, the second most important city of Myanmar, now has a new dormitory and a new refectory, thanks to the generous donation of a wealthy retired US businessman of Jewish origin, and his wife. Fr Peter Myo Khin, SDB, who runs this Salesian centre, and all the young people in need who reside there are very grateful for this beautiful gesture.

By Fr MC George SDB

The son of this generous philanthropist was Director of Projects of one of the largest synagogues on the East Coast of the United States, and his daughter has a Master’s in Social Work. The benefactors, therefore, were well aware of what they were doing when they decided to support the activities in Mandalay. The couple, with their deep Jewish faith, were impressed by the dedication and commitment of the Salesians for needy children around the world - a service that takes place beyond any consideration of colour, race, creed, sex, language or nationality - and that's why they decided to support the Salesian works.

This donation to the centre in Mandalay is the second that their foundation has given to a Salesian project.

The opening ceremony of the new premises took place on Sunday 19 March at the Salesian Centre. Seeing together in the front row, a devout Jewish couple, some Buddhist monks and some Catholic religious was something of an eye-opener and, at the same time, a fine testimony of how to create interreligious dialogue "on the ground" based on a shared commitment.

At present the Vice-Province of Myanmar, led by Fr Charles Saw, is expanding its projects for youth in need and is working on three new vocational training centres and several hostels.


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