Cambodia – Diocesan priest and Salesian Cooperator: Fr Kai Thmey

(ANS – Poi Pet) – Fr. Lawrence Phongnirand Numkanisorn, locallyknown as Fr. Kai Thmey, is a 61 years Thai Diocesan Priest, Salesian Cooperator and Missionary in Cambodia. He has become a member and local Economer of the SDB community in Poi Pet, Cambodia, living together with Fr. John Visser (Dutch missionary) and Fr. John Boknam (Korean missionary). The only ASC Center in the Cambodia delegation is in Phnom Penh, with two ASC living in Poi Pet.

How did you start your Salesian Cooperator's vocation journey?

In 2007 I started my mission in Cambodia as a missionary volunteer priest (fidei donum) with the Salesians in Phnom Penh (Don Bosco Technical School). I worked very closely with the Salesian community in Don Bosco education. More than two years passed and little by little every moment the atmosphere with the young people who were surrounded by the spirituality of Don Bosco.

My Salesian Cooperator vocation journey began by invitation from Fr. Leonard Ochoa, at that time Rector and Spiritual Moderator of “Don Bosco Technical School” in Phnom Penh. I enrolled as a Salesian Cooperator on 2 December 2010.

What makes you happy as Salesian Cooperator in Poi Pet?

First of all, it make me more happy as a Salesian Cooperator in Poi Pet that I appreciate being a full member of the Salesian Family. Secondly, it is a good opportunity to work closely with the young people, Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) and many volunteers from different cultures in one Salesian Spirit. Thirdly, Poi Pet is located on the boarder of Thailand and Cambodia, there are a lot of Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco. I can work with them closely.

What are the challenge of the Salesian Cooperators in Cambodia?

In Cambodia there are many young people, especially those who are poor and we are called to be friends with them and accompany them on their life and faith journey. All together, we are 28 Salesian Cooperators in Cambodia. We can say that we are lucky thanks to this big number. But the challenge is to convince all members to sacrifice themselves to be with the young people and also to prepare more of our members in our Centers to be formators.

What are your dreams for the Salesian Cooperators in Cambodia?

In the future Cambodia needs more formators among Salesian Cooperators, to depend less on the Salesians of Don Bosco or FMA Sisters as Delegates. We dream about more young Salesian Cooperators and that we are able to help ourselves and support our vocation growth as ASC.

Salesians in East Asia – Oceania Region pray that the vocation story of Fr. Kai may inspire a wider effort to invite other diocesan priests or bishops (like in Taiwan), to share in the charism of Don Bosco for the benefit of the local Church.

Source : AustraLasia


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