A Missionary's mission: Father Robert seeks common ground

Many of us know little more about our parish priests than their homily styles or how they shake hands at Mass. But did you ever stop to wonder what these gentlemen do the rest of the week? Let’s take a minute to get to know the youngest member of our priestly crew.

Father Salai Zaw Lwin, known around campus by his Christian name, Father Robert, is a La Salette missionary who has been stationed at St. Ann for almost five years. Born to a Catholic family in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, Father Robert was inspired by his relatives, including two uncles who are priests, to follow the La Salette path.  

“I spent my childhood in a large village, where I enjoyed my life with my family, relatives and friends,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I love fishing and now playing golf. Nature reminds me of God, my family and my childhood.”

His first assignment after being ordained in the Philippines was back in Myanmar, leading a 200-person parish in the midst of thousands of staunch Buddhists.   

“Polarization of ideas is the greatest challenge for me,” said Father Robert, who turns 43 on May 21. “As a Catholic priest and La Salette missionary, I have to bring everyone together and balance their views.”

“Father Robert brings a maturity of thought and experience to his homilies and compassion to his pastoral care,” said Pastor Father Ray Cadran. “His sense of humor lifts up many people and the uniqueness of his culture adds so much to our life.”

pictured: Father Robert Lwin


The Catholic Church of St. Ann is a La Salette parish family dedicated to reconciliation through worship, word, works and sacrament.

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