5 de junio de 2014

A day of Joy among the Brothers

It was a big day at  Bagna  (Bangkok) College. After pronouncing their First  Religious Vows two new Thai brothers became part of the big de La Salle Institute.  Founded  in France in the 18th   Century  by Saint John Baptiste de la Salle, the brothers  devoted themselves to give free schooling to poor boys, first in France and later on through Europe , America, and  those countries they used to call  “Mission countries”.

The Brothers arrived in Thailand in the middle fifties. They were originally French Brothers detached from obvious reasons from their original  posts in  Vietnam.  They founded  a school  in Nakhonsawan which became very soon the best  reputed private school  in the city . A few years later they started  a second school  in  Chantaburi,  and  in 1963  they moved to  the capital with a  school that has grown from the original  500 students to the more than 4.000 today. Along these years, the original “missionaries” but for one exception, have been substituted by Thai  Brothers  who at present  number  about  twenty of them.

I was happy to join in the welcome feast  of the latest two new comers   and I couldn’t help  thinking that  everything looked very much like a wedding feast.  Two young men were pledging their lives, consecrating themselves to  God and  giving themselves to others  through  their religious vocation. As in a wedding  there was joy and feasting  and since the  two young Brothers  came from the Northeast of Thailand  what could be more enjoyable than to watch the traditional  Isan dances?

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