New Archbishop for Mandalay
The Holy Father yesterday accepted Archbishop Grawng’s resignation, on attaining the retirement age of 75, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Mandalay.
Coadjutor Archbishop Nicholas Mang Thang of Mandalay diocese is set to succeed Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng as the new archbishop for the second largest diocese in Myanmar.
The Holy Father yesterday accepted Archbishop Grawng’s resignation, on attaining the retirement age of 75, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Mandalay. He was the Archbishop of Mandalay since June 16, 2003.
Archbishop Grawng is the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar and chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Christian Family and Philosophy Department, National Catholic Major Seminary. He is also chairman of Animation.
Archbishop Nicholas Mang Thang was ordained priest in 1973, appointed auxiliary bishop of Mandalay in 1988 and appointed bishop of Hakha in 1992. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of Mandalay and also the Apostolic Administrator of Hakha on November 30, 2011.
Mandalay archdiocese, located in the central part of Myanmar, covers about 76,774 square kilometres and comprises the southern part of Saging division, almost the whole Mandalay division and the eastern part of Magwe division. The archdiocese has the suffragan dioceses of Myitkyina, Lashio, Hakha and Kalay.
The Vicariate of Mandalay became an Archdiocese on January 1, 1955, marking the beginning of an indigenous hierarchy in Myanmar.
In the 1960's, as foreign missionaries were sent home and "their" enterprises confiscated or nationalized, the local clergy and laity were to assume full responsibility for the local Church. The local Church was also unavoidably isolated from much contact with the wider, international Catholic Church.
Only very recently has the local Mandalay Archdiocese been able to communicate more freely with the wider Catholic world. More religious congregations have arrived in recent years and lay leadership is developing.
The newly developed pastoral plans and the social development projects for the local people, especially the poor, are gradually being implemented. Any development in this diocese will always have to be in the context of an interreligious dialogue since it is embedded in the heartland of Burmese-Buddhist culture and the Bagan historical roots of the 1280's.
Mandalay Archdiocese now has 23,617 Catholics in 30 parishes. There are 46 diocesan priests. A total of 14 religious congregations are there in the diocese with 37 religious priests, 4 religious brothers and 125 religious sisters.
Source: Agenzia Fides, mandalayarchdiocese.org