Two days of celebrations were held last week to mark ten years of Marist presence and mission in Ranong, Thailand.
Ranong is a predominantly Burmese-populated town at the southern end of the Thai-Myanmar border. Marist Asia Foundation serves poor migrant families in Ranong, who are mostly Buddhist, via ministries of education and healthcare.
Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil SDB of Surat Thani opened proceedings by celebrating Mass with members of the small local Catholic community. Bishop Prathan shared during his homily how proud he is of the work Marists have developed in support of poor Burmese in his diocese.
On the second day, a cultural program and meal was attended by approximately 500 families, who delighted in the songs and dances performed by the Foundation’s students.
One member of the Marist community commented: “Education brings confidence. Confidence produces beautiful smiles. And the smiles revealed a sense of dignity and pride.”