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By Fr. Mariano Soe Naing

Anisakan, Myanmar, 28 November 2020 -- The mortal remains of Fr. Cyril Francis were laid to rest in the Cemetery which is situated in the Nazareth compound Anisakan after the holy Mass which was celebrated at 3:00 p.m. on 27 November 2020.

Fr. Cyril's body was kept in the Marian Shrine at Nazareth Anisakan. In spite of the covid19 restrictions so many people came to pay their respects and say goodbye to the departed on the days of 26 and 27 November.

On 27 November 2020, Holy Masses were celebrated continuously from 8:00 a.m. to noon. At the 3:00 p.m. Funeral Mass other rites were presided over by Bishop Lucas Dau Ze, SDB of Lashio. 26 priests concelebrated the Eucharist which was attended by the representatives of the religious congregations around the area and boys and girls of Salesian communities. Fr. John Shine Win, SDB assisted as Master of Ceremonies. The ceremony was live streamed via facebook and many followed.

At the beginning of the Mass, Bro. James Mung Aung, SDB read the bio data of Fr. Cyril. Certainly, there are so many things to recall of a man who lived 91 years, 69 years as a Salesian and 59 years as a priest.

During the homily Bishop Lucas shared his personal experiences of growing up under Fr. Cyril at Kyaukme boarding house in the 1970s. Fr. Cyril was a well-known missionary in Lashio Diocese who had pioneered in many mission stations. He had worked in almost all the difficult parishes of the Diocese. In 1976 Salesians took up the Mission Territory of Northern Shan state which was filled with so many Ethnic Armed Organizations. Fr. Cyril was the eldest of the 9 staunch Salesians who began their missionary activities in that challenging territory. The mission territory became a Diocese in 1990. Bishop Lucas repeated the remarks of the clergy of his diocese, “name any parish in the diocese, and that parish is not free from the memory of Fr. Cyril.” He was known to be a hard-working missionary. Often, he was found to be working till late at night.

Fr. Charles Saw Thi Han Lwin, Superior of the Vice Province, thanked the bishop, priests and all those present for their presence and all those who have contributed to the well being of Fr. Cyril during the months he was ill and those who were involved in the final services. He also remembered those well-wishers who could not be present at the ceremony because of the concerns of health restrictions.

The special qualities for which the departed was commended were his love for the poor, hard working, systematic and methodical arrangements in all his activities. Above all for the confreres he was a humorous person who liked jokes and entertained others with so many different jokes.

May Fr. Cyril, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

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  • Joe Pereira 2020.12.09 01:42

    For three years I had the blessing of getting to know Father Cyril. He was a newly

    ordained priest at the time, and I was an aspirant at Anisakan. At first we were all 

    afraid of him, since he was assigned to be our Prefect of Studies. Seeing the look of fear in our faces, as a group of us the gathered around him one day, he

    grimaced, his eyes squinting and his jaw tightening. And then he burst into the

    loudest laugh I had heard in a while. It was a clear message to us that we were

    not to be afraid of him. Often donning a brown cassock, he would join us playing

    football, basketball and volleyball after lunch, and he would regale us with

    terrific stories at night after supper. What a great time it was for me to learn the 

    Christian walk from a model priest.

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