Idente Missionaries with Buddhist Youth in Saraphee ( Chiang Mai- Thailand)

By 11 October, 2017October 12th, 2017Asia, Thailand

On October 8, 2017 the Idente Missionaries in Thailand had in their residence of Saraphee the very first youth encounter with students of the Buddhist University called “Momorro”.

Our brother Fr.Thinnakorn was named recently by the Bishop of Chiang Mai, His excellency Francis Xavier Virá, responsible of district (kea) number 1, which includes around fifteen parishes in Chiang Mai and he is also responsible for some of the university students present in this area, although the Jesuits are officially in charge of all the University Pastoral Service in the diocese. Each university has different groups offering various activities to the students and the students are obliged to belong to at least one of them. Two weeks ago our Fr. Thinnakorn went to meet to the catholic group of students in the “Momorro” University. In the group there were Buddhist and Protestants students as well. Accepting our invitation a group of students agreed to visit our community.

On Sunday 8th of October, the group came to visit us, in spite of the fact that it was a rainy day. Ten students, including some Buddhists arrived at 10.15 a.m. and all of them participated in the Holy Mass in the residence of our sisters.  In the Mass we welcomed them. After the Mass the group moved to the brothers’ residence and they were shown a power point presentation about “Volunteering”. The presentation was initially prepared by the brother’s general superior Fr. Luis Casasús M.Id in English for the students of Technical University in Madrid. Our brothers in Thailand translated it into the Thai language.  Since the power point presentation was long and it had to be integrated with further explanations and examples, only a part of it was shown to the students. They were told that the second part of the presentation will be shown in the following encounter. Students were very much interested in the presentation; however, they did not ask any questions or clarifications at the end of the presentation as it is the custom here.

Later on we presented the World Youth Parliament to them, giving them the manifesto of the plenary session of World Youth Parliament which took place in China in August 2017. Missionaries explained briefly and clearly about the WYP and invited them to the next plenary session which will take place in Madrid in 2020.

Since the month of October is dedicated to the missions, we also gave them the leaflets that the Dioceses of Chiang Mai had prepared to invite the people to the missionary sense of life and to present different Pontifical activities, especially papal visits in different nations. It was also an opportunity for us to propose concrete mission projects to them such as “the mission team”, that we observe is fruitfully going on for years in our universities in Ecuador. A ‘Mission’ could be organized in different villages of the mountain areas in the North of Thailand helping the people in different areas such as health care, social development and religious renewal.

Another activity of volunteering we offered the students was the possibility to practice English in our residence of Saraphee, which they liked. Students will be arranging it with the missionaries in the coming days.

Intercultural “athenaeum”, was another proposal. Missionaries explained to the students what does “athenaeum” mean and what are the programs that could be presented in an “athenaeum”.

The encounter with the students concluded with a light meal. Before closing the encounter we also decided the date for next meeting which will be taking place on the 5th of November.

It was a great time of sharing. And we see this is opening a door of hope to our university Apostolate in Thailand.

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