The diocese of Hpa-An was the evangelization works initiated by MEP missionary fathers in the 1906s.The missions were taken up by the indigenous priests in 1967 up to the present. It has been for many years way back that the plan for the division of the Hpa-An Diocese, kayin State has been originated in the hearts of the respective Archbishops, Bishops, clergy, religious men and women and the people of God in the archdiocese of Yangon. It was in the time of Archbishop Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon that Hpa-an Diocese was born.
To extend the mission works and give close pastoral care and attention to those people living in hilly and mountainous areas, to work for the development, especially in the areas of education and health care of the people, to give more attention to Kayin refugees in Myanmar-Thai border and cooperate more effectively with the local people for the spiritual and social development works, the Archdiocese of Yangon was sub-divided into the diocese of Hpa-An, Kayin State.
The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has created the Diocese of Hpa-An with territory detached from the Archdiocese of Yangon on the 24th of January, 2009 and has appointed His Excellency Bishop Justin Saw Min Thide, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Yangon as its first Bishop. He was installed on the 3rd of December, 2009 as the first Bishop of Hpa-An by His Grace Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolate Delegate to the union of Myanmar.
Location and general statistics
Hpa-An is the capital city of Kayin state and the center of the Diocese. Hpa-An Diocese was mainly divided from the Archdiocese of Yangon by Seiktaung River. It includes the whole of Kayin State and parts of Mon State. In the East, it is bounded with Thailand and the border towns are Myawaddy and Phayathonsu. In the West, it is bordered by Bago Division and the Archdiocese of Yangon. In the North, it is bordered by the most upper part of Kayin State and Taungngu Diocese. In the Northeast, it is bordered by Kayah State and the diocese of Loikaw. In the South, it is bordered by Mon State and the diocese of Mawlamyine.
Hpa-An diocese covers an area of (30,163.71) square kilometers with civil population about (1,574,079) intercultural living with diverse ethnic people such as Kayin, Pa-O, Mom, Myanmar, Shan, India and other tribes with their own dialects. Total number of Catholic in Hpa-An diocese is about (20,000) scattered in mountainous and hilly areas of Hpa-An diocese as well as in different refugee camps situated along Thai border area. There are (12) parishes with (24) priests, (32) religious men and women, (73) Catechists and home missioners, (2) Major Seminarians in Hpa-An diocese.
Toward the holistic development of the Spiritual and physical life of the people!
Our vision will be implemented by committed ourselves to the uplifting of the spiritual and physical maturity, socio-cultural, education, health, morality and peace of the people living in Hpa-An diocese with the help of the Holy Trinity and Blessed Virgin Mary in cooperation with Bishop, priests, religious men and women, Catechists, young people and faithful.
General Statistic of the Diocese of Hpa-An (30 December 2016)
- Area Sq. Kilometer : 30,163.71
- Civil population : 1,574,079
- Catholic population : 20,000
- Parishes : 12
- Priests : 24
- Men religious congregation : 1
- Women religious congregation : 3
- Religious brothers : 5
- Religious sisters : 32
- Major seminarians : 2
- Minor seminarians : –
- Catechists & home missioners : 73