Panel Discussion on The Legacy of MEP

An expert panel discussion ‘To Remember the Past with Gratefulness’ was held at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ayutthaya on June 4, 2019.

The event was part of ‘The Legacy of Mission Étrangères de Paris’ exhibition which is also part of the 350th anniversary of the Vatican’s Mission to Siam.

Father Nicholas Lefebure, MEP, Sister Sriprai Krathong, Father Theeraphol Kobvithayakul, Phuttiphong Phuttarnsri, and Father Surachai Chumsriphan were on the panel which began by discussing how the first missionary group from the Mission Étrangères de Paris (MEP) were actually meant to settle in China but instead stopped in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, which is now part of today’s Thailand.

They noted how over the past 350 years the MEP’s mission was to follow the path laid by the disciples; leading with faith, love, and solidity with respect to local culture. The panelists spoke about how this is how the MEP built the Catholic community in Thailand.

Those listening to the panel learnt that the MEP’s main goal was to create a local community where evangelization efforts could be carried out by local people using the Thai language through their own culture.

The panelist looked at how with the MEP’s tireless efforts in Ayutthaya, including the building of a seminary and hospital.

As they finished up, the panel said that history allows people to appreciate the past while also propelling them onwards and understanding how to continue both the MEP’s legacy and the Vatican’s Mission to Siam.