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Thai bishop calls to make Burmese refugees ‘feel included’

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Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arporndratana of Chiang Mai Diocese, Thailand, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 22, 2023. Photo by Mark Saludes

The bishop of the Diocese of Chiang Mai in Thailand has encouraged the public to provide solutions for refugees and “let them feel included.”

In his homily, Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana said there are around 4,000 Catholics and more than 1,400 Buddist from Myanmar who entered Thailand at the Mae Hong Son border.

“We are all aware of the plight of our neighbors. While here in Chiang Mai, we live in the peace of Christ, we have our brothers and sisters knocking at our front doors, seeking refuge,” the prelate said.

On June 20, the world observed World Refugee Day, which the prelate said focuses “on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.”

Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arporndratana of Chiang Mai Diocese, Thailand, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 22, 2023.

The prelate June 22 made the statement during the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral to mark the start of the 80th Serra International Convention.

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. 

Bishop Arpondratana solicited the faithful’s “continuous prayer and support” for young people so that “they may find their vocation and persevere to serve God’s people.” 

More than 350 Catholic clergy, religious men and women, and lay people from different countries will participate in the convention that runs until June 25. 

Delegates of the 80th SERRA International Convention on a cultural tour of northern Thailand, June 2023. (Photo by SERRA International)

FULL TEXT OF THE HOMILY: https://serra-chiangmai2023.licas.news/chiang-mai-2023/homily-welcome-eucharistic-celebration/

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