Thailand – Rector Major meets his Salesian confreres: “Always remember that your work is a proclamation of the good news to the marginalized”

18 May 2022

(ANS – Surat Thani) – In the morning of 17 May 2022, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime and Fr. Joseph Phuoc, the Regional Councilor, led by Fr. Dheparat Pitisant, the Provincial, travelled to St. Raphael’s Cathedral, Surat Thani, in order to meet the Salesian confreres working in the pastoral areas of the diocese.

Surat Thani Diocese is still under the care of the Salesians since the time it was separated from the Diocese of Ratchaburi in the year 1969, more than 50 years ago, by the then Bishop Peter Caretto. After him, Bishop Michael Praphon followed, and at present, Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil, undertakes the pastoral care of 14 southern provinces of Thailand. The Catholics are widely spread along this long tail area of the country. Most of the inhabitants follow Buddhism, however, in some areas the people are almost 90% muslims.

These Salesian confreres are all parish priests taking care of the faithful in the churches of the diocese. The Rector Major gave a conference and encouragement to all the Salesian confreres working in these mission areas. He underlined that the mission that they were doing in the Surat Thani Diocese was also a Salesian mission, and that they needed to work in the mission with a Salesian heart. The confreres then  introduced themselves and shared about the work they were doing in their area of responsibility.

At the end of the conference, the Rector Major expressed his joy at meeting the confreres. He thanked the Provincial for arranging this visitation. He emphasized once again that their work was a Salesian work, a praise-worthy work, because this was a proclamation of the good news to those who were far away. He moreover added that the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, spoke of the visit of Paul to Antioch and the small Christian communities that he took care was the same as of those of the  big communities. “Giving pastoral care to the faithful calls for sacrifice and a deep spiritual life” he said.

The Rector Major related the story of a Salesian missionary from the Czech Republic who was working in Siberia. “He lives in the midst of ice, with a temperature of -50 degrees. His community is 1,000 km away. They would meet once a month. But the Christian faithful there told the parish priest that they are so grateful to us. ‘Having a priest among us here makes us know that God has not forgotten us’ they said.”

“I encourage all the confreres working here in this Diocese. Always remember that your work is a proclamation of the good news to the marginalized.” Fr Ángel Fernández Artime also stated.

He finally expressed his gratitude and appreciation for their wholehearted work to build the Kingdom of God in this land of the “golden axe handle”.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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