Home/Stay Informed/All Diocesan Articles

All Diocesan Articles

 

 

Pope Calls on Catholics in Thailand to Follow in Footsteps of Early Missionaries

Posted on November 20, 2019 in: News

Pope Calls on Catholics in Thailand to Follow in Footsteps of Early Missionaries

Bangkok, Thailand (CNA) - Thailand’s first Christian missionaries set out feeling the absence of the Thai people from their lives and wanted to share everything they knew about God’s love, Pope Francis told the country’s Catholics during Mass on Thursday.

The missionaries ended up learning more fully the plan of God, and found the Thai people to be their unknown family, he reflected.

“By hearing the Lord’s word and responding to its demands, they came to realize that they were part of a family much larger than any based on blood lines, cultures, regions or ethnic groups,” the pope said Nov. 21.

“Impelled by the power of the Spirit, their bags filled with the hope brought by the good news of the Gospel, they set out in search of family members they did not yet know. They set out to seek their faces.”

The pope’s homily during Mass at the National Stadium in Bangkok reflected on Jesus’ question in the Gospel of Matthew, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” and also Jesus’ answer: “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.”

“The Gospel is an invitation and a freely bestowed right for all those who want to hear it,” the pope said.

The pope’s visit falls as Catholics in the country celebrate the 350th anniversary of the creation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam, the country now known as Thailand. The country’s small Catholic community makes up less than 0.5% of the population, which is predominantly Buddhist.

Pope Francis reflected on the spiritual state of Thailand’s first missionaries.

“Their hearts had to be opened to a new way of thinking capable of overcoming the ‘adjectives’ that create division; this enabled them to discover the many Thai ‘mothers and brethren’ who were still absent from their Sunday table,” he said. “Not only to share with them everything that they themselves could offer, but also to receive what they needed to grow in their own faith and understanding of the Scriptures.”

The meeting of Christian missionaries and the Thai people enriched both, he said.

“Without that encounter, Christianity would have lacked your face. It would have lacked the songs and dances that portray the Thai smile, so typical of your lands,” Pope Francis continued. “The missionaries came to understand more fully the Father’s loving plan, which is not limited to a select few or a specific culture, but is greater than all our human calculations and predictions.”

Bookmark and Share  


Annual Fundraiser

Dear Faithful Readers . . . 
Once a year we appeal to your generosity to help defray the production costs of our print, online, and email newsletter editions of the Four County Catholic. Your Donation is 100% Tax-Deductible

Click the picture below to find out more.
Or Here to DONATE NOW

 

Signup for Weekly Newsletter

    Latest Articles
    Advent Resources to Help You Prepare for Christmas
    Second Sunday of Advent-Peace
    Sharing the Reason for the Season
    Bishop Cote to Celebrate Young Adult Mass December 8 in Coventry
    'A Christmas Carol' Comes to the Stage This Weekend at St. Andrew Church
    St. Bernard School Senior is Recipient of St. Edmund's Honor Scholarship
    Hands On, Hearts In: Lowe's Gives St. Vincent de Paul Place a Makeover
    Celebrate with Us The Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    The Role of Spirituality in a Caregiver’s Life
    First Sunday of Advent-Hope
    Many Voices Sing as One in Candlelight Concert and Compline
    Check Out What's New in the Four County Catholic

    Annual Catholic Appeal Videos

    ACA English

    ACA Español

    ACA DONATE

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294