International foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) calls for prayers on the occasion of the episcopal ordination, on 29 June, Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, of Mgr. Celso Ba Shwe as bishop of Loikaw, capital of the state of Kayah, in Myanmar.

Kayah has a considerable Christian population and is one of the regions most affected by the violent conflicts that have raged across the country since the military coup of 1 February 2021.

In this difficult time, Mgr. Celso Ba Shwe, currently the administrator of Loikaw, will succeed bishop Stephen Tjephe, who died more than two years ago. Bishop-elect Celso has previously shown his courage and his strength of character. When the protests and conflicts began in Loikaw, in May 2021, he played the role of mediator between the unarmed protesters, among whom were many Christians, and the security forces. ACN thanks God for his commitment and service to the poorest and marginalised.

Due the civil war only few faithful, priests and religious will be able to take part in the consecration and installation of the new bishop, so ACN asks all its benefactors and friends to join in a special prayer on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, Thursday 29 June, in an expression of closeness and support for the new bishop of Loikaw and his flock, that they might be encouraged by the great family of the universal Church.

Let us invoke, from different parts of the world, the gifts of the Holy Spirit – counsel, wisdom, understanding, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord – to sustain Bishop Celso in his difficult task.

Let us pray for Myanmar, for its people, for the Christian community, priests and religious of the state of Kayah, and for bishop Celso Ba Shwe, shepherd of the diocese of Loikaw.