Home SERRA Chiang Mai 2023 Bangkok’s cardinal urges Catholics to ‘go out, disperse’

Bangkok’s cardinal urges Catholics to ‘go out, disperse’

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Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij
Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok, delivers his homily during the celebration of the Holy Mass that concluded the 80th SERRA International Convention in Chiang Mai, Thailand on June 24. Photo by Mark Saludes

The head of the Catholic Church in Bangkok has encouraged Catholics to go out of their comfort zones and “become promoters” of vocations.

“The evangelization begins when they go out of the church and are dispersed in the places where they spend their everyday life,” said Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok, on June 24.

In his homily, he said in order for Catholics to become effective vocation promoters, they must “empty ourselves” and “listen attentively” to their own difficulties, trials, needs, joys, and celebrations, “up to the point of sharing them” with others.

“Only then witness become efficient and the word can give reason to one’s evangelic way of acting. The explicit proclamation will be welcomed. Because it becomes perceived not as an imposition,” said the prelate. 

Cardinal Kovithavanij led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist to mark the closing of the 80th SERRA International Convention in Chiang Mai, Thailand on June 24.

More than 450 vocation animators, priests, religious men and women, and lay people from different countries took part in the 4-day global meeting.

Serra International is the only lay organization aggregated to a primary pontifical work – the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations – to encourage and coordinate efforts to promote vocations to the sacred priesthood of the Catholic Church.

Since its founding in 1935 in Seattle, over 1,100 Serra clubs have been chartered in 46 countries around the world. Today, Serra’s global lay vocations apostolate is made strong by over 20,000 members.

Cardinal Kovithavanij said the pastoral care of vocation has something to do with “motivation,” “relationship,” and “witness.” He said it is necessary that “each one encourages each other… respond to the necessities of those around them, and find the ways to witness and announce.” 

The prelate said, “Priestly vocation starts from the experience of God’s Love, the personal encounter with Christ. With this experience of God’s Love, the response and the motivation to priestly vocation will grow and reach maturity.” 

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