Mullingar "summer curate" meets Pope France

Fr Patrick Zay Han, who has assisted during previous summer periods at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar had a private audience with Pope Francis earlier this month.

Fr Patrick is a student at the Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, where he is training to join the Vatican's diplomatic corps and to serve as a Pontifical Representative. He is the first priest from his native Myanmar (Burma) to meet the Pope Francis and, as far as we are aware, the first person with connections to Mullingar to have an audience with the Holy Father since his election.

On the morning of 6 June, Fr Patrick told Pope Francis that people in Myanmar are praying for him and requested his kind prayer for that beloved country. The Holy Father replied saying "Yes, say also for me a little prayer". As Fr Patrick reflected afterwards, he was touched and inspired by the Holy Father's simplicity, humility and fatherly concern.

The Diocese of Meath has close links with Fr Patrick's native Diocese of Banmaw in Myanmar, continuing the work begun by the Columban Fathers, particularly in education and supporting the Church's pastoral mission.

Unfortunately Fr Patrick will not be able to visit Mullingar this summer. He will spend the month of July in Paris to study French, after which he will return for a holiday to Myanmar for the first time in three years.  However, his brother Fr Francis will commence his studies in Rome in the autumn and we look forward to welcoming Fr Francis in due course.

Please remember these two fine priests of Myanmar in your prayers that the Lord may bless them in their ministry.

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