Teaching reading and writing to children in slums, caring for the abandoned elderly, organizing football matches between slums, ethics courses in the schools and activities for children of the parish.
is the list of "ordinary" activities carried out in the Saint Mark
parish in Pathumthani of PIME missionary Father Adrian Pelosin, who on
the eve of his 71 years (March 1) was re-elected by the Thai missionary
Society as superior for another 6 years.
In his Easter Letter Father Pelosin said that "this year we have 17
member priests, two associated priests and 10 candidates in the Major
Seminary. On March 6, I will go to Taiwan to agree with the bishop of
Hunshu to open a new mission in the diocese. Also we will increase the
mission in Laos and Cambodia. Here in the parish of Saint Mark in
Pathumthani we opened two small centers amid the slums of Sake Wat and
Lat Lum Keo and March 15 we will open another small center at Wat Prai
Fa to assist children and semi-abandoned elderly; children whose parents
are in prison for drug dealing, theft and murder. "
"Let me tell you some stories
Bank, Boss, Ben, are three brothers, respectively 13, 11 and 9 years
of age. They live with their grandmother who was released from prison
last year .. Their mother disappeared several years ago, their father is
in prison. Their uncle killed a friend with whom he was drinking
alcohol three weeks ago and is now in prison; This uncle’s wife, was
taken by the police a few days later for drug dealing. Their maternal
grandfather died of cancer earlier this year. The person who takes
better care of these children is their blind aunt who has been preparing
for a year to receive baptism at Easter. Bank, Boss and Ben are great
football players. For them and many other children in the same social
condition we are finishing the construction of a football pitch, a
basketball, volleyball and Takro court '(a kind of volleyball that is
played with the feet and head).
Ball is a 9 year old boy, in the third grade. Two months ago, his
father committed suicide and mother went off with another man. He stayed
at home with his widowed aunt, whose husband died three months ago and
his mother also died after a short time. The aunt, who is called Tai,
sells sweet corn in front of the village school earning on average 4
Euros a day. As he tells me about his life, his tears fall freely ....
Peng is a 10 year old girl. Her parents separated after a few months
she was born. Her grandmother, poor, took in Peng’s elder brother Peng
and gave Peng to a neighbor forbidding any contact with her brother and
with her, the grandmother. The family who raised Peng has informed us
that they could not keep the child. We brought in our orphanage directed
by " Community Encounter ". Every time we go to see her she crys
non-stop .... Three years ago we also brought Plag, 15 and Kuan, 12 to
the "Community Encounter ".
Their mother has been welcomed in the direct
center of the Trinity by nuns for the rehabilitation of drug addicts,
their dad is prison for eight years for drug dealing. We also brought
Po, 12, who did not go to school because his father, separated from the
mother did not take care of the child and he was left in the streets. We
also brought two brothers there: Pet ton 11 years and 10 years that
when their mother was pregnant with them I begged her not to have an
abortion, and I promised that I would help support her children.
We only found out about Beer, a seven year old child with a sibling
of five a few days ago; They are living with their father who is a drug
addict who kicks them out of home regularly.
The kids are out of school
... we are following them every day ...
But I have to 'thank the Lord for sending me many people who help me
in this work. 10 young people aged 20 to 27 live with me here in the
parish house. There is also a Salesian brother of 48. Two of them this
year will enter the major seminary, and will be part of the Thai
Missionary Society and two will go to India to the PIME seminary in Pune
to study English. In the slums of Wat Sake there's a lady in retirement
following the center, while another lady follows the center of Lat Lum
Keo; March 15 a catechist 'Cat' will arrive to work in the new center of
Wat Prai Fa. With these small centers we can be close to the people day
We live like monks in the city: we get up at 5:30, at six we sing the
Office of Readings and Morning Prayer, we program the day, we have
breakfast. Four young people: Art, Pirun, Seek, Chak, go to teach in the
primary school in Wat Kok for the children of the nearby slums, Jam and
Ocho to teach reading and writing to children of school at Wat Sake in
the morning and in the afternoon help about thirty children after
school; Chatri and 'Ia' Mong follow the abandoned elderly, organize
football matches between the various slums, give ethics courses in the
schools and organize activities for children every Saturday at St.
Mark's parish. Pan and Bi help Miss Fon in Lat Lum Keo, Bi is the
factotum of the community: (Bi is a young man I took in eighteen years
ago). In the evening at 6:30 we sing Vespers, we celebrate the
Eucharist, and we discuss what happened during the day.
I have come to the end of my letter , which I am finishing for reasons
of space and your time. I wish you all a peaceful time of preparation
for Easter following Jesus to Calvary with confidence that suffering and
death will have no power, but the resurrection will be our victory
together with the Risen One.
I thank you also on behalf of all those who benefit from your
sacrifices, prayers and offerings ... one day we will smile at each
other all in Paradise; because Jesus said, 'Whatever you do for the
least of my brothers, that you do unto Me'. And He will not forget”.