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    » 04/27/2011, 00.00

    THAILAND

    Thai Church participates in the beatification of John Paul II

    Weena Kowitwanij

    Bishop of Nakhon Ratchasima, ordained in 1984 by Pope John Paul II in his trip to Thailand, will attend ceremony. The prelate speaks to AsiaNews about the memory of that event and the example of John Paul II for the Thai Church.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Mgr Joseph Chusak Sirisut, bishop of the diocese of Nakhon Ratchasima and president of the Catholic Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Culture, will attend the ceremony of beatification of Pope John Paul II, on May 1 at St. Peter's, in representation of the Thai Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is one of 23 priests ordained by Pope John Paul II in his visit to Thailand, May 11, 1984 at the Minor Seminary in Samphran, Nakhon Pathom.

    In memory of the visit a statue of Pope Wojtyla was erected at the seminary, with words in Thai spoken that day by the Pope to Catholics in Thailand, "Sawaddee, Sawaddee, poh rak muang thai" (Sawaddee is a greeting, poh means father but is also used to refer to priests, rak means love, so it translates: Sawaddee, I love Thailand ").

    Mgr. Sirisut told AsiaNews that "with the deepest gratitude for what His Holiness transmitted to the Thai Church, we feel we should participate in this important ceremony and we are confident that he will be proclaimed a saint very soon."

    The bishop has a vivid memory of his ordination, saying that "being ordained by the Pope is an unexpected privilege. We did not know it at the time His Holiness's trip to Thailand was announced. When we found out we were really happy and excited. Then we realized that we were inadequate for such a grace. I thank God for having received this grace, even though I was never good at school, nor a perfect seminarian. "

    "For the past 20 years I have been responsible for interreligious dialogue, given that I have a degree in this field. So I know how difficult and challenging a mission it is, one that places the human person at its centre. We need to act carefully and gradually, to achieve a genuine understanding. Pope John Paul II is a strong example, he was an expert in interfaith dialogue, as when he took the initiative to organize a prayer for peace in Assisi [which was attended by leaders of various faiths], continued by Pope Benedict XVI who will preside at the prayer for peace at Assisi in October, also with at least three representatives of the Buddhist Association. "

    "I would ask all those who will be able to participate in the beatification ceremony, not to seek personal intercessions, but to imitate His Holiness who has set us an example in missions in social relations, interreligious dialogue ... He 'was a completely dedicated shepherd of the Church, with deep devotion and trust in Mary, a witness of faith, a defender of peace and human rights. To do so, we must be humble and courteous in heart when we meet others, to bring them the love of God, and to receive it. "

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    See also

    28/06/2006 THAILAND
    New bishop of Ubon Ratchathani consecrated

    The new bishop will take possession of one of the oldest dioceses in the country, born thanks to the efforts of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, which has now handed over to the local Church.



    05/06/2007 THAILAND
    A new bishop for Nakhon Sawan: living through difficulties in the “spirit of the cross”
    Six thousand faithful along with civil authorities and leaders of other religions participated in celebrations marking the pastors installation in the country’s largest diocese. Msgr. Kovitvanit invited those present to “live through each and every difficulty in the light of God’s Mercy”.

    19/02/2011 VATICAN
    From May 1, the remains of John Paul II will be exposed for faithful
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    29/04/2011 VIETNAM
    Vietnam, our love for the Polish pope
    The Vietnamese Church remembers John Paul II with reverence and affection. "Maybe it's because he, Polish, came from a nation that has historical and social characteristics similar to Vietnam. This has allowed him to be close to the misery of our people, sharing the sufferings of the Catholics."

    20/11/2008 JAPAN
    The 188 martyrs, an expansion opportunity for the Japanese Church
    On November 24, the martyrs will be beatified whom Cardinal Peter Seichi Shirayanagi calls ordinary people, "exemplary in their observance of social order, who did not hesitate to refuse submission to the decrees of the shogun and of the daimyos when these were opposed to the faith and the dignity of the human person."



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