Bangkok (Thailand). From 29 September to 16 October 2023, the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, was in Thailand for the Spiritual Exercises of the Provincials of the CIAO, PCI, and SPR Interprovincial Conferences, and for the Visit to St. Mary Mazzarello Province (THA).
Waiting for her at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok on 29 September were the Provincial, Sister Angela Thongyoo Kitsakul; the Animator of the Auxilium Community, Sister Maria Nitaya Yawasang; Sister Agnese Kannaporn Sothon, Sister Rosa Wirinthip Inyaem, and some FMA of other communities. The Provincial offered her a garland of flowers. The community, some students, and employees also warmly welcomed her at the Provincial House in Bangkok.
On 30 September, Mother was once again at the airport to reach the South of Thailand, to Mary Help of Christians House of Hat Yai and the Thidanukhro School, where she was expected for the event of laying the foundation stone of the new Auxilium building. Mother Chiara met the FMA Community, the students, the teaching staff, the Parents’ Committee, the Salesian Cooperators, the Past Pupils. She listened to their expressions of joy and gratitude and admired the lively dances performed with art. Her sincere words, full of affection, encouragement, and gratitude, gave everyone much joy and hope.
On 1 October, Mother went to the Ban Than Phraphon Meeting Center in Sam Phran. Present to welcome her, together with members of the Community and a representation of some groups, were some Provincials of the CIAO, PCI, and SPR Interprovincial Conferences. The Provincial Coordinators and Councilors presented the local reality via video. Mother encouraged the and shared her experience, giving rise to a beautiful dialogue.
On 2 October, the majority of the Sisters of the Province gathered at the Ban Than Phraphon Meeting Center to participate in the Provincial Assembly. After the presentation of each Community, Mother Chiara shared some reflections on the theme, ‘Being vocational communities today,’ and invited questions. Sister Malai Visitsin, Provincial Councilor, then interpreted the assembly, expressing gratitude and joy for the encounter.
In the afternoon, Mother Chiara went to Ban Pong, to Sacred Heart Community. After meeting the elderly sisters, the Animator Sister Agnese Ratana Radomkit, introduced her to the members of the different groups: FMA, teachers, student representatives, employees, Past Pupils, Salesian Cooperators, and members of ADMA. Mother then spoke with the FMA Community.
From 3 to 10 October Mother guided the Spiritual Exercises of the Provincials of the CIAO, PCI, and SPR Interprovincial Conferences, also making herself available to receive some groups.
On 3 October, the Mother General of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother Maria Goretti Maliwan Paramatthavirote, with some sisters and formandees, met with Mother Chiara and expressed her gratitude for the formation and freshness of the Charism that their Congregation has received since their origins from the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
On the day of 4 October, she met with the Salesian Cooperators of the Marie Upatham House and the Salesians of Don Bosco, who screened a video of the activities carried out as Salesian Family in collaboration with the parish. Mother expressed her appreciation and encouragement to move forward with hope to transmit it to others.
On the evening of 9 October, the young people of the Sam Phran Professional Formation Center for blind women welcomed Mother Chiara with a meaningful song, read her a composition full of affection and gratitude, and offered her some itmes they produced. With emotion, Mother thanked and praised them for the small items done with patience and love.
The Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Boonlert Paneetatthayasa, also went to meet Mother on 11 October. She encouraged him for his recent appointment as Provincial. On 12 October, she went to the nearby Mary Immaculate Community of Sam Phran, welcomed by the FMA and the young students. Even though for a short time, they affirm that they felt in her words the love of a mother who is close and interested in the well-being of her daughters; that of a mother who understands and supports, so that her daughters may continue to walk faithfully in the spirit of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
From 13 to 15 October Mother Chiara went to the far north of the country to visit the Thidarak Center in Chom Thong, Chiang Mai province, where she was welcomed with the presentation of the tribal shirt, according to ethnic tradition toward guests. She then admired the show prepared by the young people, performed with different costumes depending on their ethnicity. She thanked them for their lively welcome and encouraged them to be diligent in their studies and lead a joyful life, fulfilling their duties well.
On 14 October, the Community offered Mother the opportunity to visit important tourist places in the province of Chiang Mai. In the evening, a video was shown on the history of the Chiang Mai mission from its beginnings to today. Mother Chiara shared some closing reflections on the visit and received the gift of a handcrafted bag made locally.
On the following day, 15 October, Mother was welcomed by Mary Immaculate Community of Hua Mak-Bangkok with whom she shared some reflections on Saint Teresa of Avila on the day of her memorial. She also met and greeted the priest and a representation of Korean Christians who came to meet her, demonstrating interest in their activities: Holy Mass and Catechesis in the area, and good relations with the Sisters. She then resumed her journey to the Provincial House. The day ended with Mother’s Goodnight, where her key word was, ‘Thank you’, for their welcome and availability in making possible the numerous visits to all of the works.
The last day, 16 October, was characterized by the brief and significant inauguration ceremony of the statue of Mother Mazzarello placed in the flowerbed in front of the Provincial House building. After uncovering her, Mother expressed admiration for the beauty and serenity of her face and her welcoming attitude towards those who arrive. She invited the FMA to live the spirit of Mornese as Mother Mazzarello lived it, although in a very different epoch.
During lunch, the Community once again expressed its gratitude to Mother for her Visit. Together with Sister Yuwadee Arichitranusorn of the Community of the Generalate of Rome, she was then accompanied to the airport by almost the whole Community. The THA Province is grateful to the Lord and to Mary Help of Christians for the visit of Mother Chiara Cazzuola, a precious gift to the FMA Institute and a Mother in the true sense of the word. She assures them of the prayers of all the FMA.
Photos: Flickr FMA