(English Translation of the Original Text in Thai Language)
Prot. No. CM089/2020

Pastoral Letter Regarding
“Promoting Communities of Missionary Disciples”         

        Dear brother priests, men and women religious, pastoral council members, catechists and the laity,

          After the celebration of the 350th Anniversary of the Mission of Siam (Apostolic Vicariate of Siam, 4 June 1669-2019) and welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis (20-23 November 2019), which brought joy to all of us, a question came about “So what shall we do next?” After these two events, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand subsequently communicated this pastoral message on 4 June 2020 with the response to “Promote Communities of Missionary Disciples”.

          The Coronavirus outbreak in the previous 2-3 months also brought about a positive effect, which is the improvement in the state of our nature and environment. We are all required to undergo quarantine “stay at home and stop the spread of the virus for the sake of the nation” for the common good. However, the consequential negative impact of this situation resulted to unemployment, lack of income, stress, etc. We are forced to depend on the aid provided by the government and other agencies and organizations. Nonetheless our brothers and sisters from many villages were able to share their produce of rice, vegetables, fruits, etc. and helped others in an impressive manner.

          The Chiang Mai Diocese also felt the adverse effects of this present reality. As a consequence, it is crucial to consider reducing the budget to cover the expenses of every parish for this year especially because of the drop in income from various sources. Therefore, in order for the Chiang Mai Diocese to continue its ministry, operation and services, it is necessary for us to save or economize, seek to be self-sufficient as much as possible and help each other through the following:

  1. Economize on Project Costs – we reduce costs and other expenses related to various projects according to the actual situation
  2. Reduce Mission Center Costs and Expenses – consider reducing the costs and expenses that the Mission Center incur to support churches, children and youth centers and catechetical center by encouraging Catholic communities in villages to provide more financial help to the different centers for children, young people and seminarians of their own parish
  3. Offer Mass Intentions – we request our brothers and sisters to help offer Masses celebrated in the church for your particular intentions. We encourage each family to offer a Mass at least once a month.

          After putting into consideration the situation of each parish according to the number of faithful and its living conditions, we classified all parishes into 3 categories:

          Category 1 includes parishes with parochial schools. They are self-sufficient and they can provide financial help for the Diocese. (3 parishes)

          Category 2 includes large parishes with a big number of parishioners, which are self-sufficient. (21 parishes)

          Category 3 includes parishes with a small number of parishioners. They depend on the Diocese for subsistence. (9 parishes)

          Promoting the community of missionary disciples relies on basic ecclesial communities.

  1. Conduct a statistical survey of all baptized Catholics in the parish, migrants and foreigners who come to church
  2. Study and learn from the Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium), and the encyclical letter Laudato Si on care for our common home.
  3. Promote the “establishment of the community of missionary disciples” for lay people, catechists, Catholic community leaders and young people.
  4. Implement pastoral care to promote family life and preparation for matrimony
  5. Provide formation and training on “promoting the community of missionary disciples” among children and youth who reside in our Catholic centers.

          In this regard, we request our brother priests, men and women religious, parish pastoral councils, Catholic community leaders and catechists to join together in creating a “civilization of love” in our communities and in our villages.

          Signed this 9th of June 2020.

Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana
Bishop of Chiang Mai Diocese

Rev. Joseph Saravuth Haeto
Chancellor of Chiang Mai Diocese              

Category 1 Parishes with parochial schools. They are self-sufficient and they can provide financial help for the Diocese.

  1. Sacred Heart Cathedral, Chiang Mai
  2. Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Lampang
  3. Michael Garicoits Church, Chiang Dao

Category 2 Large parishes with a big number of parishioners, which are self-sufficient.

  1. Francis of Assisi Church, Lamphun
  2. Regina Pacis, Chae Hom
  3. Assumption Church, Mae Pon
  4. Paul Church, Huai Tong
  5. Patrick Church, Pa Toeng
  6. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Pa Fang
  7. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Din Khao
  8. Archangel Raphael Church, Khun Pae
  9. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, Mae Taeng
  10. Immaculate Conception Church, Muang Ngam
  11. Holy Family Church, Huai Bong
  12. Epiphany Church, Fang
  13. Joseph Church, Samoeng
  14. John the Baptist Church, Mae Tho
  15. Paul Church, Mae Sariang
  16. Cecilia Church, Huai Ton Noon
  17. Peter Church, Khun Mae La
  18. Peter Church, Mae La Noi
  19. Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Nong Haeng
  20. Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Khun Yuam
  21. John the Apostle Church, Mae Ho

Category 3 Parishes with a small number of parishioners. They depend on the Diocese for subsistence.

  1. Holy Redeemer Church (Catholic Hmong Center)
  2. Church of St. Joseph the Worker, Mae Rim (Catechetical Center)
  3. Michael Garicoits Church, Chom Thong
  4. The Nativity of Our Lady Church, Om Ko-i
  5. Paul Church, Nakian
  6. Theresa of Calcutta Church, Pai
  7. Francis Xavier Church, Mae Hong Son
  8. Genoveva Church, Napape
  9. Lorenzo Ruiz Church, Mae Hat

Recommended Posts