The Eucharist at the centre of Thai Church life

Samphran (AsiaNews) – The Thai Catholic Church is going to dedicate two years to the Eucharist. Card Michael Michai Kitbunchu, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand, consecrated this year to the Eucharist and the family. Next year will instead be the year of the Eucharist and vocations. For this purpose the Church is organising various activities to emphasise the importance of the Eucharist in the lives of Thai Catholics.

Recently the weekly Udomsarn published a Thai translation of the Ecclesia de Eucharistia encyclical. Some 200 Thai Catholics will attend the International Eucharistic Congress scheduled for October 10 to 17 in Mexico. And Bangkok Catholics will celebrate a Eucharistic procession near the Samphran seminary on November 11. The other eight Thai dioceses will organise similar processions according to their respective calendars.

To better explain the link between the Eucharist and the family, the Archdiocese of Bangkok organised a meeting of priests, religious people and laity in Samphran. It produced a set of guidelines to inform pastoral work; among them: how to provide greater care for young couples preparing to wed, how to prepare married couples for the first five years of their marriage, and how to encourage worshippers to express greater devotion to the Eucharist, that it may not be limited to Sunday services alone but become part of their daily life.

In his remarks Fr Kriengsak Kovidhavanij, rector of Bangkok's Assumption Cathedral, underscored how the Eucharist can heal wounds in a family. "The Eucharist," he said, "is God's love for humanity. It is His way to be close to us for, through the Eucharist, God compels us to share this love with our brothers and sisters."

According to Father Kovidhavanij, "feeling God's love makes us change from selfishness to self-sacrifice. Service and forgiveness to others become us". For him, "in celebrating the communion the entire family can learn the unity of the Eucharist". (WE)