On Dec. 9 Archbishop Matthias U Shwe of Taunggyi ordained six deacons. A day later, with Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic delegate for Burma (Myanmar), in attendance, five new priests were ordained for the archdiocese.
The ordination Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes drew more than 100 priests and a crowd of some 15,000. The Mass ended with the apostolic blessing to all on the part of Benedict XVI .
The next day, Dec. 11, marked another key event: the 25th anniversary of the archbishop’s ordination as bishop.
Some 20,000 people gathered for that event. At the start of Mass the apostolic delegate read out a message from the Pope in Burmese addressed to Archbishop U Shwe and presented him with a chalice, also from the Holy Father.
At the end of Mass the apostolic delegate addressed Archbishop U Shwe expressing the Pope’s gratitude for his 25 years of ministry as bishop and assuring the people of the Holy Father’s affection and attention for the Church in this Southeast Asian nation.