Cardinal Luis Antonio TAGLE
Cardinal Luis Antonio TAGLE (Cardinal Chito) of the Philippines, the 32nd Archbishop of Manila, is both unpretentious and dynamic, whether commuting by bicycle or inspiring massive crowds with his exhortations.
Born in 1957, Tagle grew up in a devout Catholic family and was ordained to the priesthood in 1982. He served as a parish priest in Cavite Province for three years and taught theology at several seminaries before continuing his own studies.
In 1991, he earned a doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of America, writing his dissertation on the development of episcopal collegiality during Vatican II. His dissertation director, Joseph Komonchak, called him “one of the best students I had in over 40 years of teaching”.
Pope John Paul II appointed Tagle as a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission in 1997, and in 2001 he was named Bishop of Imus, the Philippines. In his new role, he made it a point to continue living humbly and remaining connected to those he served.
A decade later, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the 32nd Archbishop of Manila and, in 2012, named him to the College of Cardinals—the second-youngest member of that body.
The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Tagle as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on December 8, 2019. Subsequently, the congregation was merged with the Pontifical for Promoting the New Evangelization, forming the new Dicastery for the Evangelization of Peoples. Cardinal Tagle is currently the Pro-Prefect of the new dicastery.
In a circular for the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Cardinal Tagle underlined the necessity for every member of the Church to promote vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
He said that it is important to encourage and support those who show signs of a call to the priesthood and religious life and inspire them “to respond to God’s call to different forms of service in the Church”.
The Cardinal is known for his friendly demeanor and approachable nature, preferring to be called by his nickname “Chito” instead of his full title. Media savvy, he has a very large social media following, particularly on Facebook, where he shares regular videos of his homilies and public talks.
Cardinal Marc OUELLET
Cardinal Marc OUELLET was born on June 8, 1944, at Lamotte, Canada. He was ordained priest for the Diocese of Amos, on May 25, 1968. He studied in Rome, where in 1974 he obtained a license in philosophy at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
In 1983, he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, with a thesis entitled Existence as a mission. The theological anthropology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Between 1970 and 1989, he lived in Colombia, where he taught for a decade in various seminaries with the priests of Saint-Sulpice. Then, from 1996 to 2002, he held the Chair of Sacramental Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
In March 2001 he was chosen as the Titular Bishop of Agropoli and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In the same month, he received the episcopal ordination from Pope John Paul II, who in 2002 appointed him as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada.
He was created Cardinal in 2003. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of Dicastery for Bishops, and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He was confirmed in those two positions by Pope Francis. Since April 12, 2023, he has been Prefect Emeritus of the Dicastery of Bishops. In 2020 he founded the Centre for Research and Anthropology of Vocations (CRAV), which promotes the vocational awareness of all the baptized and the complementarity of baptismal vocations in the Church.
Cardinal Charles Maung BO
Cardinal Charles Maung BO, S.D.B., Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar), was born on October 29, 1948. Cardinal Bo is a Burmese Catholic prelate who has served as Archbishop of Yangon since June 7, 2003. He was created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015.
Bo was ordained a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco on April 9, 1976. He was appointed as Prefect of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lashio in 1986. Four years later, he was consecrated Bishop of Lashio. In 1996, he transferred to the Diocese of Pathein. On March 17, 2001, Pope John Paul II named him as a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
On January 4, 2015, Pope Francis announced Archbishop Bo’s appointment as a Cardinal. At the appointment ceremony on February 14 of the same year, he was assigned to the titular church of Sant’Ireneo a Centocelle.
In April 2015, Pope Francis appointed him to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Pontifical Council for Culture, and in July 2016 as a member of the Secretariat for Communications.
In July 2018, Pope Francis named him a delegate to the Synod of Bishops on youth, faith, and vocational discernment.
He was elected as president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) in the Fall of 2018.
“Asia’s culture and religion go hand in hand”, said the cardinal during his interview with EWTN in 2021. He called the culture and religions – including Buddhism, Islam, and Catholicism – “very rich, very diverse.”
Even so, he said, they unite on certain issues. Among other things, he said, the Asian people prioritize “the tradition and the culture of respect for the elders and the union in the families, the value of the family, the value of the mother.”
Last year, amid the political turmoil in Myanmar, Cardinal Charles Bo ordained 13 new priests on March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In his homily, the Cardinal admitted that the Church in Myanmar “is wounded and displaced,” but added that “priests are wounded healers, the hope of the people.” “They are the refuge of the suffering brothers and sisters.”
“Priests are soldiers of God’s army and fight for human dignity and justice,” he said, adding that a priest is another Christ (“Alter Christus”). Christ is the model, the savior, and the healer of all priests,” said Cardinal Bo.
“We gather and pray in words and in our heart … amid challenges, tears and blood (that) is flowing not only in Myanmar but in the world, too,” he said.
Mary Sarindhorn MATIVACHRANON
Mary Sarindhorn Mativachranon, a Thai entrepreneur, was already 55 years old when she was baptized a Catholic in 1996, but her life story, including facing charges of a crime she did not commit, has become an inspiration for Thai people to find God.
“I kept asking God to take me away. I looked around my room for a knife, or a rope, anything that could end my miserable being. I prayed feverishly and was jolted awake when I felt like someone had spoken to me—it was God telling me not to give up,” Mary Sarindhorn said.
Today, after being cleared of all accusations against her, it’s been her mission to evangelize her countrymen.
Mary believes that her life experience, which she wrote in a book titled “Moving the Mountain,” can be a bridge to bring people closer to God. Her book became an instant success not only in Thailand but around the world.
“In Thai society where the majority of the population (95%) is Buddhist and most Christians do not dare announce their religion, I try my best to live my life in such a way that people see Christ in me,” said the 74-year-old grandmother.
During the pandemic, and seeing how the poor people in Thailand suffered, Mary and a group of friends initiated what they dubbed as the “Zero Food Waste” project to feed the hungry.
Seeing the opportunity to help, Mary joined her efforts with the religious, clergy, and lay people in the country “to bring about a unique bond of Christian love to Thailand,” which is consistent with Pope Francis’s “new evangelization.”
At the Chiang Mai Convention, Mary Sarindhorn will share her life testimony of great faith in God despite the grim circumstances she had been through. Her topic is “COME AND BE”.
DR. Peter Rachada MONTHIENVICHIENCHAI
Educated by Benedictines in the UK, Peter Rachada Monthienvichienchai, a Thai-British citizen, has a doctorate degree in Computer Science with specialization in educational technology, providing the foundation for his expertise in digital transformation.
Peter is experienced in leading culturally diverse and geographically distributed teams. As Chief Research Officer of a €9 million EU-funded research project, he provided leadership and coordination of the R&D activities of 22 European organizations.
As Chief Information Officer of what was one of the largest private education institutions in Thailand, he led strategic and technical transformations and ensured business continuity during natural disasters and political instability.
Peter is also experienced in executive-level talent management in a variety of industries, giving him insights into how best to support and coach those in senior leadership positions.
He co-founded LiCAS.news, bringing solutions journalism to its readers with a focus on Catholic solutions to chronic social issues with a conscious effort to appeal to a wider youthful inter-religious readership. Its rich-media “Spotlight” presentations provide valuable resources for digital evangelization and is well suited to a metaverse-centric future.
Currently, Peter is the Secretary General of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, the first Asian to be voted into the position by its worldwide members. He is also the Executive Director of LiCAS News, the Roman Catholic Mission of Bangkok’s regional English news service.
Kevin Ifeanyi OBASI
Kevin Ifeanyi Obasi is one of the panelists for the Panel Discussion at the 80th Serra International Convention in Chiang Mai. He is the incoming Treasurer of the Serra Club of Ikeja in Nigeria. Earlier, he was a member of Program and Membership Committee.
He is an IT and Business Development Manager with over ten years of experience. Currently, Kevin is the Chief Responsibility Officer supervising all the activities of Goldwood Technologies Ltd. in Lagos.
Kevin is married to Oluchukwu Juliet Obasi with three children.
At the International Convention in Chiang Mai, he will discuss the role of parents in their child’s vocation choices.
MASTER OF CEREMONY
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Apisake Monthienvichienchai
Charles is a young Serran and a military officer in the Royal Thai Army who is a passionate lecturer in History at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.
Like Peter, his brother, Charles was educated by Benedictines at Ampleforth College, the United Kingdom. He subsequently gained his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Oxford, and two master’s degrees in Thai Studies and Chinese Studies from Chulalongkorn University and the University of Cambridge. His thesis on the history of the Catholic Church in Thailand during the World Wars earned him a doctorate from SOAS, the University of London.
With outstanding language skills and an outgoing and spontaneous personality, Charles has been invited to be the Master of Ceremonies for several events, introducing speakers, and ensuring the smooth transition between sections of the program.