New Parish to Serve Burmese Faithful in Tulsa


On Nov. 25, Bishop Slattery consecrated the altar and dedicated the new Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at 1541 E. Newton Place in North Tulsa. The newest parish in the Diocese of Tulsa, it is the first in the nation serving Burmese Catholics.

Does anyone know what the status is of Burmese/Myanmese Catholics? They must definitely be a minority in a majority Buddhist country…I am going to guess 5% or less.

As soon as things get patched up over there with the current regime and the stragglers of the junta, I think we will finally be able to see a modern, vibrant evangelism come to fruition! May God lead us and keep us strong, loving and pure!

When I traveled to Thailand in 1998, there were scores of Burmese fleeing the Eastern border around Mae Sot. I also got to see the Padaung women on this trip, also known as the women with the long coiled necks…

I assume our Catholic brothers and sisters are suffering; let us pray for them. They are the ultimate minority, followed by the more plentiful Muslims which are also seeking Asylum in Thailand…

Viet Nam must be majority Buddhist Country but we know they have very many Catholics.

We have a Korean Catholic Church. I am happy to hear about this Burmese Catholic Church.

We also have some sort of hill tribe people from South East Asia too.

The poor people have suffered natural catastrophes:

I’m glad they probably have a more friendly democratic government now.

My oldest brother (RIP) was a Salesian priest in Rangoon and, like other foreigners, was expelled in mid-60’s. +Abp Charles Bo was his student.

Catholics continue to be a minority in Burma and at present count, number over half a million. The current government does not appear to be as tyrranical as in my brother’s time as foreigners can visit now and religious communities are allowed financial support from abroad. Members of my family continue to support the Salesian community in Burma and met a few of the seminarians when they attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral in Rangoon in December last year. Vocations are on the rise and seminarians are over 300 (diocesan and religious). More than the intake in our seminaries in the UK. Imagine that!

Interesting tale, Bless you for telling us this.

I wonder who the repressive ruler was? I know they have had Kings over there but I don’t know if they would have had the power. Of course, note, Wikipedia calls them “pretenders to the Throne” so perhaps that is accurate.

Pretenders to the Burmese throne since 1885
Princess Myat Phaya (1956–1962)
Prince Taw Phaya (1962–Present)

But before this present woman came in, Suu Kiyii (?), I think she was jailed or sent into exile by a repressive military regime. Maybe it was the same sort of deal.

But I can look this up tomorrow. A lot of that area suffered.

Our family’s connection with Burma is only from Lord Mountbatten’s time. :slight_smile:

The most repressive regime was the military junta which took over in the '60s. From one fine day to sequestration, repression, expulsion of foreigners and ethnic cleansing. From my brother’s account, the military just trooped into school and convent, told them that foreigners must leave at the soonest and that all was now Burmese. Thereafter, Burma was a closed society. The Salesians continued to have presence in Burma though through Burmese confreres but, it was not until the '90s when we had a Burmese Salesian priest visit us in England.

As to Aung San Suu Kyi, she attended the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral and members of my family heard from the grapevine that her mother converted to Catholicism before she passed away.

Good to know there are Burmese Catholics in Tulsa!:slight_smile: Send some to California, we’ll send you some of our cafeterianists!

I guess these are the Hill-Tribe People ( ) I have heard about their being some members thereof in the USA.

The Karen are often confused with the Red Karen (or Karenni). The subgroup of the Karenni, the Padaung tribe from the border region of Burma and Thailand,** are best known for the neck rings** worn by the women of this group of people.

The majority of Karens are Theravada Buddhists who also practice animism, while approximately 15% are Christian

More reading at the site.

I knew the people I was thinking of had a name reminiscent of a woman’s name in our English language at least, now I will remember, the Karen people.

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