The Superior General of Idente Missionaries Fr. Luis Casasús, had several encounters with Asian youth on his last visit in Asia. In Thailand he met school and university students, talking to them about different topics to motivate them to aspire and live the highest ideals. Students too shared their personal experiences, raised questions and doubts in these meetings.
Father Casasús arrived in Thailand on February 8th after his visit to India. Idente Missionaries in Thailand received him with great joy. On the occasion of the welcoming ceremony, at the sight of the excited faces of young missionaries, Fr. Casasús remembered his encounter with the Founder Fernando Rielo, as a young man. Recalling the words of the Founder, he reminded the young missionaries of the importance of consecrating their youthfulness to Christ.
How to be an apostle since childhood was the central point of the Motus Christi retreat which Fr. Casasús M.Id conducted on February 10th in Wiang Pa Pao, S.Therese School. The school has a close relation with the Idente Missionaries as our first Thai Priest Fr. Komkrit M.Id had worked there as the director of the education until his premature demise and his bust sculpture is placed there with much reverence. There are around 1500 students in the school, where the majority are Buddhists.
The students and the school staff specially the Ban Maria sisters, received Fr. Casasús M.Id with great affection and enthusiasm. Nearly 120 students participated in the Motus Christy. The superior general spoke to the children in a very simple way about how to become an apostle of peace and love. Two students shared their experience of following Jesus. Then students engaged in group dynamics where they wrote down their experiences of living charity and shared them with others in the group. The Motus Christy concluded with a Holy Mass, presided over by our brother Fr. Tanongsak who had been working with our brother Fr. Komkrit in Wiang Pa Pao.
In an encounter with adults, that took place in Saraphee on February 11th Fr. Casasús M.Id invited them to enter into a deeper experience of faith through personal prayer. Only through an intimate relation with God, that father, can we know His will and live accordingly. The general superior also mentioned our proposal to Pope Francis to institute a feast day dedicated to our Heavenly Father in the Calendar of the Universal Church, because so far there is no such feast in the Church. Such a celebration is very close to our charism of living the filiation towards God the Father. While answering some of the questions, Fr. Casasús exhorted them never to abandon anyone who is looking for God’s love in their own lives.
During his visit to Thailand Fr. Luis Casasús had a very warm meeting with the Bishop of Chiang Mai, His Excellency Francis Xavier Virá. Our Superior explained to him various activities carried out by our brothers and sisters in the diocese, especially the characteristics of our Motus Christy retreats and the World Youth Parliament project for the youth. He also mentioned about our brothers’ mission works in Wiang Pa Pao in collaboration with the diocesan priest and the project to build a Church, for which the Bishop kindly offered to seek financial support.
On February 13th Fr. Luis Casasús met with a group of around 70 students of Chiang Mai North University, among whom were several Chinese students. Fr. Luis explained to them the importance of the communication and the dangers of virtual massification and isolation, the significance of inter personal relationships, etc. During the meeting he also discussed with them the possibility of creating a group of World Youth Parliament (WYP) to give space to youth and to listen their thoughts and experiences on important issues and find true values for a new civilization.
He also shared with them his experience in the plenary sessions of the WYP held in Italy, USA, Germany, and China and the next edition in Madrid. The students received his invitation to be part of the WYP with a loud applause.
At the end of the gathering, the students asked him two questions, the first about the difference between “propaganda and communication”. He answered by saying that the propaganda has the goal of convincing people to follow a specific interest and it is closed / is of a close nature, but the communication is a dialogue for sharing mutual experiences of life and it is open. The second question was how to help the students who are isolated due to excessive use of mobile phones and games.
Until February 15th, the day of his departure, the general superior spent all his time and energy with the missionaries and with each and every person he met. Fr. Luis Casasús left Thailand leaving behind a strong impression of fraternal communion and a living experience of peace and joy of Christ.