15th-31st JULY, 2023 ENGLISH NEWS SUMMARY
World Youth Day 2023
The World Youth Day (WYD) is a global gathering where young people deepen their faith, experience the universality of the Catholic Church, and commit their lives to Christ alongside hundreds of thousands of like-minded peers. Representatives from Chiang Mai Diocese is a group of 7 people led by Fr. Thinnakorn Lathu-the Youth Director with sisters in –charge of youth and youth leaders. The event started on 24th July until 9th August, 2023 with many activities before and after the big event. The group from Chiang Mai greeted H. E Bishop Vira A. before leaving to ask for blessings. More than 80 representatives from Thailand coming from 11 dioceses and religious organizations are participating in this most awaited event.
Pope Francis has confirmed his participation from 2nd- 6th August, 2023. The theme of this event is “Mary got up and went with haste” (Lk 1:39). We continue to pray for all the young people who are participating this world event. They are the present and future of the Church
Visit of Triveneto Faculty of Theology to Chiang Mai
Fr. Bruno Sopelsa of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Lamphun, coordinated a visit with the Faculty of Theology of Triveneto. A group of 21 students and 2 priests who led the students as part of their Summer Program with the topic Interreligious Dialogue were in Bangkok- Chiang Mai on 10th – 24th July 2023. They had a conference and seminar with the MahachulalongkornRajavidyalaya University, met with missionaries, monks, pastoral staff and clergy, theologians and bishops while in Bangkok. They wanted to learn how the minority Church in Thailand faces challenges which is different from European Church. H. E. Bishop Vira A. welcomed them in the Catholic Mission Center of Chiang Mai and was briefed about the Diocese’s reality by Fr. Sasin and Fr. Rafael S. They visited the Cathedral and the Sacred Heart College and had lunch together there.
The next day, also a group of 11 Jesuit priests and seminarians who came from Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar Indonesia and East Timor and are also studying about Buddhism joined the Triveneto group, together they visited two prestigious Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai: Wat Palad and Wat Ramphoeng (Tapotaram); they were accompanied by the Focolare group. The Abbot of these two temples have met the foundress of the Focolare Movement –Chiara Lubich and the friendship still continues at present. They were welcomed warmly and had an extra-ordinary dialogue, sharing of experiences regarding Buddhism and Christianity. The common values present in all religions: love, compassion, kindness, hospitality and the desire to live as brothers and sisters to spread Peace and harmony have filled the heart of each one as the day ended.
King Rama X’s Birthday
Thailand celebrated the 71st birthday of His Majesty, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua last 28th July, 2023. The Chiang Mai Inter Religious Committee organized an evening event of offering blessings and prayers for his majesty at the Phutha Sathan Temple together with the representatives of deferent Christians and other religions present in Chiang Mai. May God bless his majesty with good health, long life and wisdom to guide and serve the kingdom of Thailand.
THAI MONKS TO ASSISI AND THE VATICAN CITY
On 23rd July this year is the 3rd International Day for Grandparents and Elders. It is a feast day in honor of Saints Anna and Joachim who are the grandparents of Jesus and parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On July 21st, H. E. Bishop Vira A. together with Khun Phrapha who is in the Welfare Committee of the Elders and several young people visited the grannies who live around the Catholic Mission Center to show respect and honor. They brought along a gift basket for them. The grandparents and elders received blessings and were prayed over together with the whole family.
Xavier Learning Center
The theme of the retreat was “Union with God, Union with Neighbors” to the 16 seminarians and sisters who are doing the XIP (Xavier Immersion Program) in XAVIER LEARNING CENTER run by the Jesuits, at Chiangsaen. On the 29th of July, a half day retreat to the group coming from different dioceses of Thailand and are learning the English language was conducted by the Focolare group. There was a very active participation of the program prepared, especially new for them is the aspect of communion. A lot of sharing on experiences of life from the different Bible verses that indicate how the love for our neighbor leads to union with God