04/02/2010, 00.00
THAILAND

Chieng Rai, Sisters of the Sacred Heart promote a camp for 150 Thai youth

Weena Kowitwanij
The camp was held in the northernmost province of Thailand, part of the Golden Triangle and a crossroads of drug trafficking. The week involved youth between 6 and 18. Sharing experiences, reading the Gospel and lessons of moral catechesis the themes addressed.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - More than 150 young people, aged between 6 and 18, from six different parishes, attended a week of meetings, sharing experiences, Gospel reading and reflection on moral lessons. The summer camp organized by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok (SHB), with the help of 14 people, catechists and novices, was held in the parish church of Saint Teresa Wiengpapao, a district of the northern province of Chieng Rai.  

Sister Chalieng Vejjayan, Provincial Superior of the SHB, highlights the effort to prepare catechists and novices in activities that allow participants to "learn to be good Christians," to deepen the knowledge related to the Catechism "by reading the Gospel." "They learn - adds the religious - the value of sharing, especially with the less fortunate," with the meaning of "forgive and be forgiven."

Sister Rosy, of Wiengpapao describes how nice it was to see "children and young people from different families care for one another like brothers and sisters: This is a large family called Church." Learning the value of sharing is essential, she adds, as is "enjoying group company".  

Chieng Rai province, northern Thailand, is located over 800 km from the capital Bangkok. The area falls within the Golden Triangle - a centre for opium cultivation and a drug trafficking hub - which includes areas across the borders with Laos and Myanmar. The majority of the population is ethnic Thai, with 12.5% belonging to the hill tribes scattered in the north.  

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok (SHB) was born in 1900 at the initiative of Fr Aloys Alphonse d'Hondt, from the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP). The nuns work in the field of catechesis, education and administration. They operate centres for orphans and the needy, and wherever their work is required. Among the many parishes, the religious are present in the Diocese of Chieng Mai, Nakhon Sawan, and Rajjaburi Bang.  

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