Fr. Marie Soosai Kyaw Lwin, OSM (Pastor).
292(B), Pyay Road Sanchaung P.O. YANGON, Tel: +95 (0)1 535067, Mobile: +95 (0)9 859 5364.
Around AD 1900, there were many Tamil Catholics who formed a large part of the parish of St.Anthony’s Church, Kandawkalay, Yangon. In the Myaynigon area there were about 1200 Tamil Catholics. In the Sanchaung, University Estate, Wireless, and Mingaladon area, there were hundreds more Tamil Catholics.
In 1913 while Rev. Fr. Sellos was in charge of St. .Augustine’s Church on Inya Road, he become deeply concerned with the spiritual welfare of Tamil Catholics especially in the area under his pastoral care. Consequently, a place for worship, the St. Monica’s Adoration Chapel, was built in the Myaynigon St. Vincent’s Compound.
In 1937, the Bishop of Southern Myanmar (Burma), the Rt. Rev. Bishop Provost established the Myaynigon parish. Among the Catholic Christians of many national backgrounds in the areas of Myaynigon, Sanchaung, University Estate, Wireless and Mingaladon, there were large numbers of Tamil Catholic Christians. At that time, Rev. Fr. Lesqere, the resident parish priest of the Catholic Church at Insein was also responsible for the pastoral care of the Myaynigon parish.
Fr. Lesquere worked very hard to built a new and suitable church for the parish. However, in December 1941, Yangon was bombed unexpectedly (by Japanese aircraft). With the outbreak of the Second World War devastatingly affecting many parts of the Church was halted.
In 1945 Fr. S. K. Martin was put in charge of the Myaynigon parish. To be able to continue the church building work, Fr. Martin laboured hard to gather fund for the project. In 1946, however, Fr. Martin was transferred to assume pastoral duties in Phaypon. Towards the end of 1946, after Fr. Martin transfer, the resident parish priest of the Insein Catholic Church was given the responsibility of looking after the Catholics of the Myaynigon parish.
In 1951, on the occasion of the visitation of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from Portugal to Myanmar (Burma), the Catholics of Myaynigon had the privilege of venerating it in the church then St. Monica’s Adoration Chapel. To commemorate this historic visit, it was officially decided to rename the as the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, then making its previous name slowly disappear from general use.
Fr. Joseph, who was then resident parish priest of the Insein Catholic Church and also taking care of the Myaynigon parish, began to work vigorously towards the construction of the new church building. The initial stages of construction commenced towards the beginning of 1952. Due to Fr. Joseph’s strenuous efforts, the new church could be consecrated by the Most Rev. V. Bazin, D.D., Archbishop of Yangon (Rangoon) on 13 October 1953.
While he bore his extensive pastoral duties at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Fr. Martin also organized in 1968 the Chin Catholics into the Yangon Chin Catholic Fellowship (YCCF) to work closely with him so that the Chin language could be used in various church services. On 7 September 2003 the YCCF was able to hold its 35th anniversary celebrations whish were led by the Most Rev. Charles Bo, D.D., the Archbioshop of Yangon.
With the cooperation of Rev. Fr. Felix Zahaung, a Kachin national and now the Bishop of Lashio Diocese, the Kachin Catholic Fellowship organization was transferred from St. Theresa’s Church to the Church of Our Lady of Fatima. Consequently, Masses using the Kachin Language have been celebrated regularly on the last Sunday of every month at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima.
In 1983, in a most memorable manner, Fr. Martin led the entire parish, friends and many well-wishes to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima. During the time of Fr. Joseph Maung Win, the Golden Jubilee of the parish was grandly celebrated on 5 September 2003. In 2004 the total registered number of the parishioners is 2215.