October 2023 ENGLISH NEWS SUMMARY- CHIANG MAI DIOCESE
16th FIMARC World Conference 2023 @ Chiang Mai
International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC) held their conference in Chiang Mai, coming from 30 countries around the world, the participants have gathered from 26 September to 04 October 2023. The general theme chosen for 4 years, is “The transformation of the Agricultural Food and Economic System and Ecological Conversion in the Light of Laudato Si”, which calls for a genuine conversion of the global food system. Caritas Thailand and the RTRC movement and their many partners work with rural populations, including various ethnic groups in the north of the country. The program included exposures to the villages of Chiang Mai. The indigenous peoples have always lived this way: “God is everywhere, in nature, in relationships between people and in prayer and meditation”. As a result, everything is sacred, and this invites us to show the greatest respect for creation and for humanity. The opening ceremony and Eucharistic celebration was presided by the Apostolic Nuncio of Thailand- H.E. Archbishop Peter B. Wells. On 4th Oct. 2023 – the president of the Chiang Mai Municipality Council, along with the Vice Mayor participated in the thanksgiving and closing ceremony at the Sacred Heart Chiang Mai Cathedral presided by H.E. Bishop Francis Xavier Arpondratana. FIMARC will continue to promote this model of agriculture both to its partners and to national and international institutions, at both civil and political
Celebrating Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
October is the month long Feast of our Lady of the Holy Rosary and parish churches named after her are celebrating. In Samoeng District with Father Wasin Chanaroon’s parish who has 16 church branches, and Father Thanongsak Biko as an assistant priest. They organized the celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary, Ban Pang Tong, Pai District, Mae Hong Son Province. There are 100 families of about 400 people in this village. H. E. Bishop Francis Xavier Vira was the main celebrant. The villagers help among themselves by putting their talents especially in building the church. The Head of the village were also present to join the elebration. After the celebration Bishop Vira had a chance to visit some bedridden parishioners. Then, he continued on to another parish named Our Lady of the Rosary, Khun Yuam. The trip took almost 6 hours to reach the parish withthe good weather and safe trip to celebrate our Lady of the Rosary. The following day, the 8th of October 2023 at Khun Yuam, several visitors came to join in the celebration. Catholic youths from 1st year- 6th year High School came with Father Somyot from Our Lady of the Perpetual Help Church, Chiang Rai Province together with the Sisters of Maria Bambina and other faithful from the other churches. The feast consists of Eucharistic celebration, eating together, singing, youth performances, men’s soccer match and women volleyball match. The Catholic faith teaches the believers to be like Mary, believe that God can do all things. To pray and serve God; pray the Rosary regularly.
Prayer for Peace
H.E. Bishop Joseph Chusak Sirisut of Nakhorn Rachasima Diocese, and also the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Council of Thailand (CBCT) last 12th October, 2023 has issued an announcement asking all Christians to join in praying for peace. Here’s the full text of the prayer:
O God of peace, You have created human beings and You showed
your kindness and compassion by calling us to be your children and
participate in your glory and honor. We bless you Father for giving us
Jesus, Your Son. Through the mystery of the Resurrection He has
brought us salvation. The source of peace, the bond that makes all
us brothers and sisters.
Lord, bring peace to your land, teach peace to your people. Please open the hearts of those in power
in deciding to stop the war and violence that seriously violates human life. Turn arguments into
forgiveness that leads to dialogue, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence that leads humanity in the
world to recognize each other as brothers and sisters; coming closer together.
Lord, may You dwell among your people and stretch out your merciful hand to heal those affected by
the brutal war physically, mentally, and spiritually, restore their souls with blessings; give them hope
in the midst of severe suffering and trials. May the kingdom of justice, peace, and love descends upon
the people of all nations on earth. May your glory shine throughout the world. Amen.
Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory to Mary….
A Good Leader Listens and Acts
On 12-14 October 2023 the 1 st district of Chiang Mai diocese held a Catholic Youth Leadership Camp at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Center, Chae Hom, Lampang. Father Thinnakorn Latu, the spiritual director and the priests responsible for the youth in the parishes of District 1 organized the first youth leadership camp with the aim of training District 1 youth leaders of the parish and for the youth to create networks at the parish district level. There were more than 70 youths participating in cooperation with the parish priests, the sisters who runs the centers, parents and guardians who sent their young people. Some of the topics discussed were: Leadership status and Skills by Fr. Jongchor Kaewma 2. The Youth and the Church Today, by Fr. Sasin Mopo 3. Field Visit to Laudato Si Project of Café Bruno by Fr. Bruno Rossi 4. Activities to strengthen leadership in the spirit of the Gospel by Mr. Yutthachai Ngernla.
World Food Day 2023
World Food Day is designated by FAO every 16th October of every year, for this year’s theme is on water – ‘Water is life, Water is food. Leave No One Behind’, with the aim of spreading awareness of water scarcity and the link between food and water. The Women’s Committee of Diocese of Chiang Mai in cooperation with the district 4 parishes organized the event last 14th October at St. Paul Church, Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son Province. The day started with a procession of the communities from various parishes with the priests and the faithful; followed by
the Eucharistic celebration presided by Father Thammanoon Jindadujsaichon, adviser of the Social Development Committee of the diocese. The day’s activity was summarized by Dr. Sunthorn
Wongchomphon, the Social Development Officer of the committee. The participants set up different booths of local food and dessert, seeds and seedlings, herbal juice and drinks, trash or garbage, environment and global warming and natural fabric dye. There were sharing of knowledge and learning that took place in the different booths. He also reminded that Pope Francis has issued 3 encyclicals: Laudato Si, Fratelli Tutti, Laudate Dominum to warn humanity about the global crisis we are facing. We are all connected and no one survives alone, therefore
we must work together to heal the world. So, the next generation can pass on to their children and their grandchildren a better world.
Home for the Homeless
On October 16-18, 2023, a team composed of the priests and catechists from District 4 came
together to put into action the plan of the New Evangelization of the Good News by paying attention to
the needy- not leaving anyone behind. A grandmother who lives alone was in need of a house at Baan
Mae Haad of Parish of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Sop Moei and three days later, she has her own home.
“Family Communication and Dialogue”
A Family Day was held on Mission Sunday, October 22, 2023 at the Catholic Mission Center organized by the Focolare group of Chiang Mai. There were around 200 participants with family members from every generation. There were separate programs for the adults, children and youth. In the morning, the adults were sharing experiences about the beauty and challenges of the family taken from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia). And they talked about skills in effective communication and dialogue in the family. In the afternoon, there was a discussion on “Grooming” (an online sexual harassment) by professors from the Department of Psychology of CMU and the youth volunteers of the Cultural Peace Foundation who came to share. Then, the adults and youth came together to summarize what both adults and youth want to improve in communication while the children prayed for PEACE. Thank you to all who made this event a success especially to H.E. Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana for his encouragement and for presiding the Eucharistic celebration.
St. Teresa Church, Baan Pa
On October 21, 2023, Father Mongkol Charoentham, parish priest of St. Michael Garicoits Church, Chom Thong, and oversees one branch church of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Church, Baan Pa. In this church there are about 7 families of the people from the city and has a history of nearly 60 years, similar to St. Michael Garicoits (Khuang Pao) Chom Thong church. There were Buddhist monks who attended the ceremony and Sisters of Baan Niramon came to help prepare for the celebration. Three days before the feast day, they prayed the rosary from house to house. The Eucharistic celebrations was presided by H.E. F.X. Vira Arpondratana with the priests from Betharram, Identes and three Redemptorist. There were 7 Mae Pon sisters, 2 Salesian sisters and youth from the mission center who helped sing during the Mass. There were many faithful from different parishes who brought food to celebrate.
“Mission Sunday” Mass at the Refugee Camp
On 21st October, 2023 Father Khamma visited the Christians in the Mae La Oon Refugee Camp and celebrated the holy mass with the Christian faithful in the village. On Sunday, 22 October 2023 was “Mission Sunday”, Fr. Charoen celebrated the mass at Baan Dongluang together with Fr. Phicit and Fr. Sasin. Two sisters from Saint Joseph School of Mae Chaem and the villagers came to participate in the holy mass.