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25/11/2015 - Thailand - A Salesian Brother Vocation Story

(ANS – Bangkok) – Bro. Saraphan Kaeser is the youngest Salesian Brother in Thailand, and the second Salesian vocation from the North of Thailand. Now he is studying Catechetics in Paranaque - Manila.

I was born into a Christian family environment, but my grandparents and my parents were converts from traditional religion ten years before I was born. Through my parents, I learned about Jesus. My village is quite far from the parish. Sometimes we could attend Mass only twice a year because there were very few priests. I learned from my family how to have a very deep and strong faith.

During my last year of elementary studies, I already wanted to enter the seminary but my parents wanted me to stay at home to help them on the farm. (…). One day, in my grandfather’s house, I saw a booklet with the title “Father and Teacher of the Young.” I asked my uncle about it and he told me about the school, of which he is a past pupil. Immediately, something came to my mind. I'm interested in mechanics and like to repair cars, but, I thought, if I go to Don Bosco Technical School in Bangkok it would mean that I wouldn't be able to enter the seminary. My uncle told me: “If you want to, it could be possible because that school is a Catholic school and after you graduate you can enter the seminary.”

When I entered Don Bosco Technical School Bangkok, I chose the mechanics course. I learned the story of Saint John Bosco, and I liked very much to read his story. I went to the office of Father Rector and I told him my desire. From that day on, he started personally to teach me catechism every Friday. Finally he told me to write a letter to Father Provincial and later on the provincial and his council gave me their approval.  

In Banpong formation house I met Br. Chitti, a Salesian Brother, who stayed with us. He taught us technology information. At that time, I thought to myself that I wanted to become like him. Even if I am not a priest I can help young people in our school. I went to ask my rector “How can I become Salesian brother?” He told me that “It's OK” and “You can choose during Novitiate.” I chose to be a Salesian brother because I read the story of Don Bosco with Joseph Buzzetti, who wanted to leave the Oratory. Because of this story, I understood how Don Bosco wanted the Salesian brother to be a part of the Salesian Congregation.

In my opinion the specific contribution of the Salesian Brother to the Salesian Charism and Mission is to enter in the world of the young. The Mission of the Salesian brother is to help the young by using his talents. For me, the Salesian brother, more than the priest, can enter more easily in the social work for the youth in my country.

The people in Thailand have very little knowledge about the Salesian brother vocation, and so I think that the way to promote it is by informing the people, especially the youth during the vocation camps, and through the Salesian Bulletin and the Internet.

At present the province of Thailand has a total of 92 SDB (51 Thai and 41 missionaries from 11 different countries), with 13 Salesian Brothers.

Published 25/11/2015

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