At aid distributions for flood-affected families, rice and other items are given out. Photo courtesy of Caritas Thailand
By Ross Tomlinson, Catholic Relief Services
Thailand is no stranger to calamity. In most years there is some level of flooding. But they are normally smaller and localized, more manageable.
This year the floods are enormous. They cover the lowland provinces, which is the agricultural basket of Thailand. Responders have looked on in astonishment as the slow moving mass of water bore down on Bangkok to head to the sea.
The heavy rains were coupled with age-old water management issues revolving around the question: How much water should farmers (and politicians) keep back for the crops? Is this all the rain we will have? Continue reading
Bishop Michael Bunluen Mansap was a leading light for Caritas in his homeland in Thailand and across Asia. Credit: commons
By Bonnie Mendes, Regional Coordinator for Caritas Asia
Bishop Michael Buluen Mansap, the Chairman of Office for Human Development of the Federation of the Bishops’ Conferences and the Vice President of Caritas Internationalis from 1978 to 1984, died at St Louis Hospital Bangkok where he was (for about fifteen days) in the Cardiac Intensive Care Ward. He was 81. His body was first taken to Ratchaburi his home town and then brought to the diocese of Ubon Ratchathani, where he was Bishop for 28 years. He had retired six years ago.
In Ratchburi people lined past the coffin from the time it arrived till almost when it left the place. A Requiem Mass was led by H.E. Cardinal Micael Michai Kitbunchu on December 4, 2010.
The funeral was on the feast of the Cathedral of Ubon Ratchthani, Bishop Mansap’s successor Bishop Philip Banchong Chaiyara preached at the funeral on the feast of Mary Immaculate. He said that Bishop Mansap’s motto was ‘Living with the people’, that is how he interpreted ‘Omnibus Omnia’. When working with the people he felt for the poor of the north. He therefore started Credit Unions for all the poor, of the area including Buddhists. Then as he grew in awareness and felt the structural injustices, he started working on Justice and Peace issues.. Continue reading