Burma Comes to Bowling Green

A parish learns that when you give, you receive

Burma Comes to Bowling Green

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When Mu Hpare arrived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, two years ago, she didn’t use the oven in her apartment for two weeks for fear that she would burn the building down. Instead, she and her one-year-old son ate straight from the boxes and cans she bought at the grocery store.

She wasn’t the only Burmese refugee who had trouble adapting to the new culture and country where they had been resettled. Used to sleeping on bamboo mats in jungle huts with no windows, they lay down on the floor with the windows open, though their apartments had beds and air conditioning. They didn’t know how to turn on a water faucet; they had never seen a carpet or refrigerator.

Strangers in a strange land, Bowling Green’s new residents needed long-term help for rebuilding their lives. In 2009, Fr. Jerry Riney, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, set out to see what his parish could do. The result, though not without its challenges, shows what can happen when people move beyond their comfort zones to meet one another in the love of Christ.

A Place to Call Home. Luis…

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