Father Adriano Pelosin, PIME (Photo from AsiaNews)

By LiCAS News

Dec 29 2021

A Christmas letter from a PIME missionary in the slums on the extreme outskirts of the metropolis

‘Participation, Communion and Mission,’ the theme of the Synod, is lived out in the daily life of our community. The requests of the poorest are always heard and answered in the name of God who gives us the grace to do this service’, said Father Adriano Pelosin, a PIME missionary in Thailand for more than 40 years, and today also superior of the local Thai missionary institute. In his annual Christmas Letter he recounts life in the parish of St. Mark in Pathumthani, among the shantytowns on the outskirts of Bangkok, which were badly hit by the pandemic. Yet, he tells us that even this crisis has been an opportunity for many young people to discover “an Other greater than ourselves.” (This is reposted from AsiaNews)

Last year we celebrated Christmas in silence but not without meaning, as we did the first Christmas in the stable in Bethlehem; only the angels and a few shepherds participated in Mary and Joseph’s joy for the newborn child. The situation has remained the same here in Thailand and has worsened since April giving signs of improvement in these last days: you will have gathered that we are talking about Covid 19.

In prayer, in silence, in service to others we also experience Christmas every day and like Mary we show Jesus to the poor and to the Wise Men. Despite the official closure of churches the poor come to our church that always has its doors open. Our hearts are always close to the hearts of so many who for various reasons are suffering and sometimes come close to despair and suicide.

So many people here in Thailand and also in Italy participate in bringing smiles back to the lips and light into the eyes of the people affected by Covid 19. We must thank the Lord that He has chosen us to bring this material, moral and spiritual aid to about 500 (five hundred) families. About 100 families are Cambodians, Burmese, Laotians in the construction sites, and about 100 families are Vietnamese who were working in the factories. The jobs have been closed and the money is gone. The other 300 families live in the slums around our St Marks church. We give preference as always to the abandoned elderly, orphaned or abandoned children who live with poor and sick grandparents.

In St. Mark’s parish we have 14 lay missionaries working full time to assist the poorest in Buddhist communities. There are also some parishioners who devote their free time to this mission. “Participation, Communion and Mission”; the theme of the Synod is lived out in our community. The requests of the poorest are always heard and answered in the name of God who gives us the grace to do this service.

We live communion especially in the morning when we sing lauds together with a dozen of young people who live in the parish, then we participate in the divine liturgy where we listen to the word of God read and preached and receive together the same body of Our Lord. We then continue sharing by briefly discussing the work to be done that day and then we have breakfast together. There are about 30 of us, both young and old. Everyone does his or her job and in the evening we meet again for the Office of Readings, Vespers and dinner.

 

– Read more in….LiCAS.News