Sometimes it takes Father Camillo a day or two longer to get there. Sometimes he has to take a roundabout route, when the heavy rains leave the dirt tracks in this part of Burma simply impassable and his motorcycle becomes increasingly unreliable. But he will get there in the end. He always does; you can depend on him. The 500 or so Catholics in his parish in the archdiocese of Taunggyi know this.

Once a month he travels to its remote villages to celebrate with them and make Christ present among them, to pray with them and hear confessions. And he travels every week to the three principal villages of Sain Lian, Wankan and Naung Kwe. Usually the faithful are waiting for him in their basic wooden chapels, the centres of spiritual life in this mission territory.

But the chapel in Wankan has deteriorated and needs to be renovated. In the past it would have been no problem to fund a chapel here, for the gemstone mining in this region was a steady source of income. But now the mines have closed and the people are forced to live on what they can grow in their fields. Today the real gemstone, the real jewel in their lives, is their chapel. Father Camillo asks our help to repair it. It will cost €4,450, little enough for such a centre of saving grace. So let’s not keep Father Camillo and his parishioners waiting any longer.

This article can be found in Mirror 0517.