.- Celebrating 500 years since the arrival of
Catholicism in Myanmar, Catholic artists have pooled together to evangelize
through a new musical endeavor.
Creative Artists Association – an indigenous group of Catholic professional
artists inspired by Biblical experience – has composed, developed and released
a music album entitled “Revelation” in honor of the anniversary.
this year, the association premiered its first mega multi-cultural musical
entitled “Jesus of Nazareth” at the National Stadium for two days in front of a
program incorporated artists from the seven major ethnic groups with their own
music and dances.
seems to be inspiring the Church to recognize this great potential and use it
for greater benefit of the Word of God,” Fr. Leo Mang, director of social
communication for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar, told CNA Aug 25.
bishops’ conference has declared the current liturgical year “The 500th Great
Jubilee Year.” Celebrations kicked off Nov. 24, 2013 and will come to close on
the Solemnity of Christ the King, Nov. 23, 2014.
true that the arrival of the first Catholics into Myanmar was in 1510, so in
reality it is 504 years of the arrival of Catholics in Myanmar and we should
have celebrated in the year 2010,” Fr. Mang said.
the political circumstances and religious liberty situation in the country at
the time did not allow for this.
the political situations in Myanmar are developing now and there are many
upcoming religious freedoms in the country we feel that it is a privilege to
celebrate the great Jubilee in 2014.”
persecution, Catholic missionaries and the local Church in the country have
worked to promote dignity and human rights in Myanmar, promoting peace, social
reconciliation and interreligious dialogue.
the significance of the Catholic Creative Artists Association, Fr. Mang said,
“For the first time the Church in Myanmar has performed in the National Stadium
and brought to light the big potential culture and talents of Myanmar Church.”
association’s members are top performing artists in Myanmar, with backgrounds
in advertising, television and radio, he explained, adding that “their
participation has added greater credibility to the performance of ‘Jesus of
Nazareth’ and now in ‘Revelation,’ which is a tremendous success.”
Mang explained that the Catholic Creative Artists Association is an initiative
of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar, which in 2012 decided to
incorporate a group of more than 40 Catholic professional artists, including
musicians, singers, actors, technicians and composers.
bishops’ conference was responding to the call for a new evangelization by
seeking to reach the hearts of people through art, the priest said.
vision of the bishops is “to build a community of faithful Catholic artists
supporting a culture of excellence among artists, encouraging them to perfect
their God-given talents and flourish as craftsmen,” added Fr. Mang, “so that
their work might be a more pleasing offering to God and a more effective sign
of his love for mankind.”
explained that the artists are to be “custodians of beauty” and “heralds and
witnesses of hope” to all humanity.
priest serves as chaplain for the group, coordinating and planning monthly
Masses and meetings. In the future, there is hope to expand among local tribes
as “a means of uniting the Catholics from different ethnic groups and
strengthening the identity and faith of the Burmese people.”
so, Fr. Mang said, will help respond to “the modernization process in the
country (which) is alienating people from their own culture.”
producing “Jesus of Nazareth,” members of the Catholic Creative Artists
Association took many Gospel trips, walking miles to other dioceses throughout
government of Myanmar has identified seven major tribes as representatives of
137 sub- tribes and dialects, and the Catholic Church is well rooted in these
ethnic cultures. The Catholic population is estimated at some 500,000, which is
less than 1 percent of the total 50.5 million population in the country.